Bahrain may be an island, but it’s a desert island – meaning summers are scorchingly hot and even the winters are warm. The climate is arid, not tropical. When oil was first discovered in Bahrain, the nation quickly developed heavy machinery and turned agricultural lands into oil-producing ones, resulting in an expansion of the desert. The government is now trying to reverse Bahrain’s economic dependence on oil, but the climate change may be more persistent: summer temperatures regularly hit 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) even in Manama, the capital.

Winters in Manama are slightly cooler but far less humid, with a temperature ranging from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (about 58 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Evenings during both seasons tend to be five degrees cooler, which makes the nighttime a much-needed relief from the relentless heat.

The “rainy season” in Manama is technically December through February, but since the region only receives 10 cm of rain every year, this shouldn’t be taken into consideration when planning a visit. Actually, winter is the most pleasant time to go, simply because it can be unbearably humid in summer. Most of Bahrain’s beaches are closed to the public, so there isn’t much reason to visit specifically during summer.

BBC’s five-day forecast for Manama is available in both Celsius and Fahrenheit .