Summer ends 23 September

Deserted Al Seef, Dubai Creek afternoon in June heat photo © Copyright by Khadeeja Yasser

As dawn breaks I’m scanning a few topics to write about. I’m trying to develop a habit of writing every morning and some ideas take precedence over others.

It’s quiet at the moment. I’ve set our pedestal fan to low speed. It’s not daringly hot at 6:24 a.m. to switch on air conditioning (which I usually prefer to use at a few scheduled times during the day) and darkness has faded away. The heavy curtains in our lounge make me feel that it’s still dark outside. It’s not anymore.

Living in the desert from when I was carried here (Oman) as a baby (the use of the word baby in reference to myself, makes me chuckle), some 43 years ago has had its toll on my mind. I simply hibernate or tend to follow a well thought out hibernation plan when summer arrives. Calling summer ‘summer’ in our desert (UAE), is an entire stretch of the term. It’s not just summer, it’s a long, long, tiring summer. It comes, it stays, stays some more and then tries to fade away.

Some years I’ve felt the coming of summer from mid-February. The year 2012 after Ghost Protocol was released (December 7, 2011) felt like one. I recall that February was hotter than usual and unusual dust-storms reigned. There was a dust-storm in February too! The timing of that dust-storm scene played by Tom Cruise couldn’t have been better (watch him run through the DIFC Gate Building in Dubai chased by a cinematic dust-storm). That year we had a lot of dust-storms, or that I may have noticed them a little more than usual.

Other years it can feel the heat’s having a late start with some refreshing rains in late March (2009 comes to mind) or anywhere between December and March. However by April, early or mid, it begins to heat up with tiny heatwaves of a few hot days followed by a few cooler ones, then hotter days and less-cooler ones, until we slowly forget what cooler days felt like, for the next five to six months. It depends on how you look at it and whether 40 degree Celsius days in September count as cooler days (which they are) compared to days that can be as hot as 48-49 degrees in some months (I must add, I haven’t seen these high temperatures this year, and I’m correct, the highest recorded temperature was 45 degrees Celsius in August).

If you google “when does summer end in uae” you’re told “Summer 2019 in Northern Hemisphere began on Friday, 21 June and ends on Monday, 23 September. All dates are in Gulf Standard Time.” That’s three months – three intensely hot and humid months of a very long summer that never seems to want to end.

Ironically, this year on June 21st we had an unexpected moosla dhar barish or cloudburst in Ajman (where I live) after Jumu’ah salat while we enjoyed a nice meal of biryani at lunch. June rarely sees any form of rain in these parts so it was an absolute pleasure and mercy. And that marked the official beginning of summer this year!

So when’s summer in the UAE? It’s from May to October with two fade-in and fade-out months of April and November. Those can be pleasant months when they want to be. We can expect rain at unexpected times during these months and when that happens it can be very heavy and local to some areas.

As for humidity, we had 100% humidity in Ajman yesterday and this makes the outdoors absolutely impossible to traverse. Unless of course you’re planning some natural form of sauna therapy which can be good for your body. Carry water if you want to try this.

As for me, I prefer hibernating in summer months. I rarely try to go out. When I have to go for tasks that I must carry out, I try to get back in as fast as I can. The UAE is designed to keep you cool when you’re indoors which is a blessing! If you buy the right car, you cool a little better driving. I absolutely want to go out by September but for the past few years, this month instead of August is crazy humid. So I’m indoors for now.

Summer ends Monday, 23 September, at least in ‘the half of Earth that is north of the Equator’. I’m willing to believe that.