Climate of Iraq
by Jan Null, CCM

The climate of Iraq is generally dry and harsh, falling somewhere between that of Phoenix and Death Valley.  Moderate winter temperatures rapidly give way to warm breezy spring weather and then blistering triple-digit heat from late May through September.  At about the same latitude as San Diego Baghdad receives only six inches of rain from November into April, with the remainder of the year being dry.

Average high temperatures rise from near 60 in mid-winter to the mid 70s in March, with mid 80s in April and then mid 90s in May.  From June through September maxima average over 100 degrees with July and August topping out at 110 to 108 respectively.  Record readings for the summer months hover near 120 degrees.  October sees highs averaging in the low 90s then mid 70s in November.

There are two separate wind regimes that impact Iraq.  The Sharqi is a dry dusty wind from the south and southeast occurring in April through early June and again from late September through November.  The Sharqi can have wind gust to 50 mph and often results in violent dust storms which can cover hundreds of square miles and reach nearly a mile in depth.  From the middle of June to mid-September the prevailing wind is the Shamal.  This wind is from the north to northwest and is more persistent by generally not as gusty as the Sharqi.
 

 

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