Hot temperatures in Baghdad, Iraq

Dear Tom,

Why are summers so hot in Baghdad? Is it a dry or humid heat?
Daniel Morgenthaler,  Chicago
Dear Daniel,
Baghdad, Iraq’s capital city, is located in the country’s central desert, where the intensely hot and rain-free summers are the epitome of dry heat. High temperatures average in the 105-115 range and occasionally top 120. The intense, unfiltered sunshine and very dry air delivered by the prevailing hot, dusty shamal winds combine to produce the daily triple-digit heat. Baghdad winters are mild and relatively dry, with precipitation averaging about six inches.
Highs cluster around 60 and lows around 40, though on many nights readings drop below freezing.
In January 2008, rare snow hit the city, the area’s first in about a century.

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