Raining and Floods in Yemen

 What you get is rainy seasons, maybe 1-2 each year. It will rain a lot in say a one-two week period and there might be flooding perhaps and then we go months without rain. It typically rains just before or after Asr when it rains, so it makes for great planning most of the time. Get your running done before then or you might get caught in a flood (not a laughing matter  here)………


Video of flooding in Sana’a on Shariah Sitteen, outside of one of the beytul rais (one of the houses of the President). August 2007


Temperature in Yemen


It gets cold at night and in the early morning. Then by like 9 am (or sometimes before), it is HOT and stays that way until maybe shortly before Asr.


“The climate of Yemen is considered to be mostly desert. The hot and humid west coast contrasts the temperate regions in the western mountains which are affected by seasonal monsoons. There is an extraordinarily hot, dry, and harsh desert in the east.” (Weather.about.com)




On the southern coast rainfall is low throughout the year, and most of the coastal plain is desert. Temperatures and humidity are high throughout the year and the period from June to September is the most uncomfortable time, when midday temperatures regularly rise to near 38°C/100°F with a high humidity. Daily sea breezes help to mitigate the heat on the coast. Inland in the hills both temperatures and humidity are a little lower. Here, rainfall is a little more and mostly falls between May and September. In the lowland along the Red Sea coast the weather is hot and humid for most of the year and similar to that on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. In this lowland the rainfall is rather low, averaging about 100mm/4 in a year, and may occur in both winter and summer. (BBC Country Guide)


Check weather conditions in Yemen



Sand/Dust Storms


Dust Storms Expected in Coming Weeks (March 4, 2009) Yemen Times

The dust storm that swept the country three days ago finally started clearing up yesterday. The visibility will remain poor for a few weeks throughout Yemen according to the General Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority.

Similar storms are expected over the coming weeks during the seasonal transitional period until approximately mid-March. Dry winds coming from the Arabian Peninsula carry dust particles that they pick up as they speed across desert areas.

….The oxygen that we breathe is polluted with dust, germs, and factory waste materials that are detrimental to our health,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Garati of the Al-Jamhori Teaching Hospital in Sana’a.

Dust storms carry cold air and bad substances that lead to many diseases such as skin rashes, ophthalmia, sinusitis, laryngitis, and pneumonia.

“Dust storms can trigger serious asthma in patients whose asthma is inactive through irritation of their bronchial tubes,” Al-Garati said, explaining that Al-Jamhori Hospital in Sana’a has witnessed a remarkable increase in respiratory emergency cases.

The occurrence and severity of dust storms in Yemen and in the Arabian Peninsula in general has increased in recent years due to global warming, according to authorities.

Dust storms hit countries in the region such as UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia before passing through to Yemen. Reports from the region explain that such weather is unprecedented. The storms originate from mid-latitude tropical regions covering Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf States, and can reach as far as the Horn of Africa

Flash Flooding

The rainy season is here and yesterday we had some flash flooding. Flash flooding is very common in Yemen:

 My boys go out and run a lot of errands for me, so it is possible that they could get stuck out in one (like yesterday). Typically our rules are not to go out after asr/maghrib unless its urgent. I sent them out for some medicine yesterday, it had been raining but had calmed down. After they had left the rains picked up.  Alhamdulillah, they now have cell phones so I could get in touch with them. 

Our number one rule: Stay where you are (if you are at a store).

Our number two rule is: always wear tennis shoes and a coat after asr, even if its bright and sunny.  If its going to rain, its usually after asr, though this week, the rain has come in as early as around fajr maybe or at least 8. Today it got really cloudy around 10/11 and we have seen some rain today.

I thought that my youngest did not have a coat (but alhamdulillah he did). Anyway, thinking that my youngest didn’t have a coat and I knew they were down the street, I left the house thinking to go get them. ( I don’t advocate this, the stay where you are rule is the best, insha Allah, a little nerve wrecking for me, but better since we have the phones).  When I left, I could barely cross the street, you couldn’t even see one half of the street and I got totally soaked. Alhamdulillah, I found them and we walked home. We passed one street which you could not see the street at all, it was maybe shin deep and my youngest son (ignoring the tennis shoe rule after asr or when its raining) had some flip flops on and one fell off and started making its way a short distance down the street. It had not gone far so he went to get it but had it gone a little bit more, I would have said forget it.

So we made it home, albeit super drenched.

In a flash flood situation, its really best not to go out and just have whoever is out wait it out (some place safe)  and Allah knows best.

Tracking the Rain

Well, on April 1, we got our first rain for the new Gregorian year. I thought’d be interesting for us to track just how much it rains here, which is not a lot. There are about 1-2 rainy seasons per year where it will rain for days and then no rain to be seen for months. Also to note, which I mentioned on my weather page, it typically rains only in the afternoon before/around Asr time. This year, I’ve noticed that it has rained as early as about 11am…..

My intent is to tally up the days of rain that we receive….

April 1, 2008: Light rain/drizzle

April 8, 2008: Thunderstorm, hail.

May 1, 2008: Light rain and light thunder and lightning.

May 2, 2008: Heavier rain than yesterday.

May 3, 2008 Still heavier rain

May 5, 2008 Heavier rain, hail, lightning

May 7, 2008 light to heavy rain

May 8, 2008

May 9, 2008

May 10, 2008

May 11, 2008 started out heavy then lightened up pretty quickly

May 15, 2008

Thought the rain was gone, but it is back:

May 29, 2008

May 30, 2008 Rain, loud crackling thunder, lightning

May 31, 2008 Hail; lightning

June 11, 2008 Light rain, lightning

June 12, 2008

June 26, 2008

July – a few days in the beginning of strong rain and thunder and lightning 

For a little more info on the weather here as well as a video of flooding last year (2007) in Sana’a, please see my weather page.