Salalah is one of those rare places in the Arabian Peninsula that experiences a monsoon season. It is called Khareef and lasts, roughly, from late June to early September. Khareef means “autumn” in Arabic, but it is used to refer to monsoon in Salalah.
“It rained in the morning, and still the skies are cloudy,” Bader Ali Al Baddaei told The Times of Oman. He was referring to Salalah in the Dhofar region of Oman. (Bader is an administrator of www.rthmc.net, a local web-based forum that monitors the weather)
According to Bader, in addition to rain, low-lying fog and mist have blanketed many parts of Salalah, especially in the Sarfeet area. Basil Peter, an official at Salalah Port, said: “I got drenched in rain. The climate is perfect here.”
He was not being sarcastic. During this time, the brown landscape of Salalah and its surroundings are completely transformed to a beautiful and lush green, and locals and tourists alike flock to the area to take advantage.
The Southwest Monsoon arrived late in India this year, but in the last 24 hours it has surged northwards. This prompted a sudden influx of cloud and humidity over southern Oman.
While the temperature in Oman’s northeast hovers around 46C and the sun beats down, Salalah has now dipped below 30C. Humidity is high and will usually be above 90 percent both day and night.
The plain upon which Salalah sits is dampened by mist and drizzle at this time of the year. In both July and August, Slalah’s average rainfall is 25mm. The escarpment that surrounds the plain and rises to the Dhofar Plateau catches the clouds and can double the amount of rain that falls. This is what makes Salalah so green.