How warm is it going to be at the World Cup?

The weather will be largely bearable in Qatar throughout the duration of the 2022 World Cup (November 20th – December 18th), a tournament which was shifted to avoid the sweltering heat of the summer.

In principle, there will be no need to activate, or at least not always, the famous air conditioning that is capable of being engaged in stadiums at the tournament. Shifted to avoid very high temperatures in summer, the first ever winter tournament, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is set to take place in pleasant weather conditions. Far below the maximum of 42°C observed in July.

One week before the start of the competition, it is certainly still a little hot. In Doha and its surrounding regions, where four stadiums are located, the temperature recorded on Saturday November 12th was 34°C. The temperature was expected to drop to 28°C in the evening.

From November 20th, the forecasts (which are of course subject to change) show a maximum of 28°C during the day, 24°C in the evening, 22°C at night. It is even expected that the air will cool slightly as the competition progresses. Per FIFA, “the outside temperature should oscillate between 18 and 24°C.”

It should be noted, however, that the temperature announced is different in comparison with what the people in the streets of Doha are feeling. There is some humidity in the capital, the air is often stuffy, and visibility is reduced.

Cloud cover should in any case be rare, precipitation also. According to Weather Spark data, the average rainfall amount over a rolling 31-day period is, in mid-December, less than 10 millimetres. As for the wind, gusts of 50 km/h could occur from time to time.

The organisers should therefore not need to activate the “revolutionary” – in the words of FIFA – air conditioning system integrated in seven of the eight World Cup stadiums (ventilation happens naturally for the eighth stadium, known as Stadium 974). Developed in collaboration with the University of Qatar, the system is presented as being durable and “energy-efficient”. According to a presentation by FIFA the system works, “through solar energy, the outside air is cooled, then distributed by grids in the stands and large nozzles at the edge of the field.”

The activation of the air conditioning is supposed to be “punctual”, operating only in areas “where people need it, in this case the pitch and the stands”, according to Dr Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghani, professor of system engineer and designer at the University of Qatar. “Our air circulation technique cools the air, filters it and pushes it towards the players and the public, he specifies. Each speaker is cooled to a comfortable temperature of around 20°C.”

“A temperature of 24°C in the evening is completely bearable for playing [and watching] football. We will study closely, for each match, whether the conditions merit the use of air conditioning, especially for daytime matches. For the moment, no worries, the temperatures are perfectly bearable for all,” according to a decision-making source to RMC Sport.

RMC Sport had seen the air conditioning at work in a stadium in Qatar last March. In just a few minutes, the air became very pleasant for playing or watching a match. During a stadium visit in June, the 43°C outside turned into 20°C once inside the stadium.


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