Holy month comes in hottest weather and longest days

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JEDDAH. July 11. KAZINFORM The holy month of Ramadan has approached for Muslims, with scorching summer temperatures and high humidity levels.

This year, the days will also be longer, lasting more than 15 hours in the first few days. Fasting hours will gradually decrease as the month progresses and will last around 14 hours and 40 minutes toward the end of the month.
Temperatures are expected to rise above 43 degrees Celsius in the Kingdom during Ramadan. The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah are expected to record the highest temperature levels besides the Eastern Province, Yanbu and Riyadh.

The coastal city of Jeddah recorded 70 percent humidity on the first day of Ramadan, the highest in the Kingdom, with residents in open areas sweating it out and the holy city of Madinah recording the highest temperature.
Meanwhile, the dusty weather conditions that had Riyadh residents worried two days ahead of Ramadan has since subsided.

The weatherman, however, says this is only temporary and that dusty weather will return to Riyadh in the next few days.
Hussain Al-Qahtani, a spokesperson for the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment, told Arab News yesterday that the temperature during Ramadan was expected to remain hot due to low pressure in the Arabian Peninsula and hot weather conditions in the Middle East region.

According to him, temperatures will range between 43-48 degrees Celsius in the Makkah region, 42-47 in the Madinah region, 44-47 in Riyadh and Central Province, 44-48 in the Eastern Province, 50 degrees Celsius in Al-Ahsa, 39-45 in the Northern Border Provinces and 42-46 in the Southern Province.

Revealing other statistics, Al-Qahtani said that Makkah recorded 49.8 degrees celsius on July 1, 1989, Madinah registered 49 degrees celsius on July 20, 2005, while Riyadh recorded a high of 48 degrees celsius on July 25, 1987, and Dammam recorded 50 degrees Celsius on July 28, 2007.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle. Consequently, the holy month occurs around 11 days earlier every year in the Gregorian calendar. The cycle for each season takes nine years and the next time Ramadan will occur in spring will only be in 2017.

With summer temperatures reaching their peak across much of the Middle East, remaining hydrated will be the real challenge. Yet despite the hardship caused by a long, hot summer, Ramadan is that period of the year which Muslims all over the world look forward to.

It is, however, important to ensure that harsh weather conditions do not take a toll on the body. During fasting, body energy and fluid levels are low. Hot, spicy or salty food should be avoided during suhoor. Doctors also recommend meals with a high fiber content, which takes a longer time to digest, before beginning the fast.

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