The climatic conditions in the State of Kuwait are hot, arid, with scanty rainfall. Hot and dry summer winds are usually experienced for the greater part of the year. In general the naturally-available water in Kuwait is scarce and it varies in its quality. The factors of hot and dry weather, soil characteristics, wind speed and availability of local and regional sources of sand conspire to make the environmental ecosystem balance between the natural elements including the weather, water resources, soil, vegetation and animal life in the desert of Kuwait rather fragile.
The prevailing wind direction in Kuwait is north-western with winds blowing in this direction representing 60% of total wind throughout the year. North-western winds are hot and dry during the summer due to the long distance they travel over the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. These winds can attain a speed of 19 m/s (gust speed), which far exceeds the threshold shear velocity (~0.6m/s) that is required to transport a particle of average size (0.4-2mm diameter). During the spring season, the contribution of south-eastern wind increases to match that of the north-western wind. This change is accompanied by an increase in the high wind velocities. Maximum wind speed can reach 29.5 m/s whilst maximum reported gust speed is 37.6 m/s (record). Strong south-eastern winds can cause very severe dust storms which can impair visibility to few meters. April is well known for its sudden dust storms, which are accompanied by thunderstorms. During the winter season, the wind is north-western mainly. South-eastern winds over a period up to few days can occur during winter due to the effect of Mediterranean depressions.
The mean total rainfall rate is about 118mm a year. The rainfall in Kuwait has no specific trend. In average eight days of the year can be considered as rainy. Still, the rainy days might exceed 40 days in some years and the mean total rainfall rate can reach 336mm. Rain affects patches in Kuwait rather than the whole country. Rain can start in November and continue very intermittently till April. Occasional rain in October and May can happen sometimes with January being the rainiest month of the year.
The average annual temperature is 26 deg. C. In July, the average temperature is 37.4 deg. C and the maximum can reach 45 deg. C. The diurnal range (difference between the day and night temperatures) in the summer is about 17 deg. C leaving the nights unpleasantly hot. The maximum recorded temperature was 50.8 deg. C in June 1954. The weather is warm to hot in October and mild to cold, with thunderstorms sometimes, in November. The weather is coldest in January with temperature reaching about 12 deg. C. Minimum record temperature measured in 1964 of -4 deg. C. During the spring season, the temperature varies substantially and this can happen during the same day.
Winds blowing from the northwest represent 60% of the prevailing wind in Kuwait
yearly rainfall from 1996 to 2007 in Kuwait
Annual average temperature in Kuwait (1963-2005)