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    Warm, Dry Weather Expected for Hajj Pilgrimage

    By By Bill Deger, Meteorologist
    November 05, 2011, 12:34:59 AM EDT

    Fairly typical warm and dry weather will greet those traveling to Mecca this weekend for the beginning of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

    More than 2.5 million Muslims are expected to pack the Saudi Arabian holy city by Saturday, the start of the five-day event. With pilgrims outdoors, weather is always a big concern.

    Weather-wise, there won't be many issues this year. Plenty of sunshine and usual warm temperatures between 35-38°C (95-100°F) can be expected from Saturday through the following week.

    At night, clear skies will allow temperatures to fall to around 25°C (75-80°F).

    Typically in November, temperatures top out around 35°C during the afternoon while dipping to 23°C at night.

    Pilgrims traveling from colder parts of the globe are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses and are always advised to drink plenty of fluids.

    Rain is often another concern around the time of the Hajj as the wet season begins to ramp up in western Saudi Arabia toward the winter months. November is normally the wettest month in Mecca, with about 26 mm of rain (about 1 inch) falling over the course of the month.

    As recently as 2009, heavy rain soaked the region, snarling travel and raising fears of an H1N1 flu outbreak.

    The Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, a journey to Mecca that is expected to be carried out at least once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim if they can afford it.

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