Jeddah: Makkah and the holy sites are expected to experience hot to extremely hot weather during this year's Hajj season, with temperatures reaching their peak at midday.

During a press conference in Makkah on Tuesday, National Center of Meteorology (NCM) Chief Executive Ayman Ghulam stated that daily high temperatures in the holy sites during Hajj are forecasted to range from 45 to 48 degrees Celsius.

He said surface winds during the day may stir up dust, particularly in open areas and highways. Wind speeds are expected to range from 10 to 35 km/h, with speeds increasing in the presence of thunderclouds.

Although the chances of rainfall at the holy sites remain low, Ghulam noted that thunderclouds may form in the heights of Taif, and their effects could extend to the holy sites, resulting in strong descending winds that stir up dust and sand.

Furthermore, humidity may reach up to 60% during Hajj, he said.

Ghulam announced that the NCM launched a media and awareness center in Mina, which will broadcast daily weather bulletins as well as provide awareness and educational messages for pilgrims in five languages through 12 media channels operating round the clock.

He emphasized that the services offered by the center will also cater to the needs of pilgrims with disabilities and keep official and local media platforms informed.

The newly launched center aims to facilitate the movement of pilgrims within the holy sites and provide relevant entities with comprehensive access to weather data and potential meteorological phenomena.

Ghulam also highlighted the involvement of regional centers affiliated with the NCM during the Hajj season. The centers have a mission to conduct studies and research related to climate, dust and sandstorms, and opportunities for weather improvement.

The centers include the Regional Center for Climate Change, the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Regional Center, and the Regional Program for Cloud Seeding.

Ghulam confirmed the center's operational readiness for this year's Hajj, utilizing an integrated system of technologies, human capabilities, and technical expertise, ensuring the highest levels of success in alignment with the government's directives to utilize all energies and capabilities to meet the needs of Hajj pilgrims and ensure their comfort, he added.