Africa Weather

To describe weather conditions across the continent of Africa in specific terms is difficult in such a small space, so we'll opt for general terms.

Most of Africa is in the tropics, and except for the peaks of mountains in the Great Rift Valley, it never freezes. The continent's northern half is primarily desert or arid, while its central and southern areas contain both savanna plains and very dense jungle (rainforest) regions.

Africa is the hottest continent on earth; dry lands and deserts comprise 60% of the entire land surface. The Sahara Desert (including its satellite deserts) is the world's largest hot desert, and temperature above 37.78 °C (100 °F) are common. In fact, the record for the highest temperature ever recorded was set in Libya in 1922; 58 °C - (136 °F).

To the immediate south of the Sahara Desert in the Sahel region, drought and annual rains way below average are rather common, and major dust storms are a frequent occurrence. In the central African rain forests (along the Equator) warm to hot climate conditions are the norm with very high humidity; Africa's heaviest rains fall in this area.

In the far south, the Kalahari Desert, a large semi-arid sandy savannah covers much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Rainfall is sparse and summer temperatures run high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain each year.

Summers in Southern Africa can be be quite hot, especially along the coastal areas. Inland in the higher elevations, temperatures do moderate. Winters are generally mild, with some light snow in the hills and mountains.

For detailed weather in any African country select the country of choice from the dropdown list above right, or review these current weather conditions in some selected cities.

Note: The seasons south of the Equator are just the opposite of those north of the Equator; (Spring) October to December; (Summer) January to March; (Fall) April to June, (Winter) July through September.