This mountainous country occupies the southwestern portion of the Arabian peninsula. It has a narrow coastal plain on the Red Sea, a long coastline on the Gulf of Aden, and land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The land rises steeply to a mountainous interior over 3,600 m/12,000 ft above sea level. It is an exceptional part of the Arabian Peninsula, since the mountains receive moderate to abundant rainfall between March and September so that coffee and a wide variety of crops are grown.
In the higher regions temperatures are much lower than elsewhere in the peninsula. Here the climate is quite pleasant with mild winters and warm, moist, but generally sunny summers. No reliable climatic data is available for the higher part of the country and the description above is based on travellers' accounts.
The interior includes a small portion of the great sand desert of the Rub' al Khali which is mainly in Saudi Arabia. Between this desert and the coast there are ranges of hills within which runs a broad valley, the Hadramawt. This area receives rather more rainfall and is settled and more densely populated.
Climatic conditions along the southern coast are represented by the table for Khormaksar, the airport of Aden.
On the southern coast rainfall is low throughout the year, and most of the coastal plain is desert. Temperatures and humidity are high throughout the year and the period from June to September is the most uncomfortable time, when midday temperatures regularly rise to near 38°C/100°F with a high humidity.
Daily sea breezes help to mitigate the heat on the coast. Inland in the hills both temperatures and humidity are a little lower. Here, rainfall is a little more and mostly falls between May and September.
In the lowland along the Red Sea coast the weather is hot and humid for most of the year and similar to that on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. In this lowland the rainfall is rather low, averaging about 100 mm/4 in a year, and may occur in both winter and summer.
Conditions on the Red Sea coast are represented by the table for Kamara'n.
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