Issue 01 p5196 (2016)
High air temperature can adversely affect human health in various ways, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. This paper analyses the spatial and temporal variability of air temperature within Makkah using data from 8 monitoring stations from 2002 to 2014. It was observed that air temperature varied both in space and time within Makkah and annual average temperature ranged from about 27oC to 32oC, however hourly temperature was much higher and reached as high as 55oC, which is above the comfortable temperature range for most people, especially for elderly, women, children and those with chronic health problems. Spatial analysis showed that northeast region of Makkah experienced lower temperature, probably due to higher altitude. During the Study period, temperature demonstrated positive non-significant trends at most of the monitoring stations, except at Arafat and Abidiah where the trend was negative. Only Leeth monitoring station, representing Waly Al-Ahd area had positive significant trend. The positive trend is expected due to global warming and increasing urbanisation in this region, however the negative trend in Arafat and adjacent areas is most probably due to mass plantations of neem trees. Analysis shows that Hajj is moving towards hotter months (June, July and August) of the year, which might be a challenge for organisers of the Hajj as well as for the Pilgrims. Therefore, there might be a need for better planning during the coming years, including better housing, scheduling, transportation and ensuring the availability of better quality food and drinks.
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