Ghana is a West African country situated at the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It covers an area of 238,533 km2 by landmass and 10,996 km2 of water. The country has a population of about 28 million people. The Akan ethnic group forms the majority of the population. The official language spoken in Ghana is English. Ghana’s immediate neighboring countries include Burkina Faso, Togo, and Cote d'Ivoire.
The Ghanaian coastline of 539 Kilometers stretch consists of lagoons and sandy beaches which terminate into the grass plains in the east and west of the mainland. A portion of the country is found within the Volta basin where the Volta River flows from the northern borders of Burkina Faso. The three main headstreams of the river; the Red Volta, Black Volta, and White Volta join to form Lake Volta. Lake Volta is the third largest artificial lake in the world. The climate of Ghana is tropical.
The Climate Of Ghana
Ghana has five geographical regions which experience five varied types of climate. These regions are northern region, eastern coast, west coast, southern region, and the central region. Generally, the country has a tropical, warm and humid climate. It receives a mean annual rainfall of about 1200 millimeters and the mean annual temperature range of 26°C along the coast to about 28.6°C in the driest northern regions. The temperatures vary with season and altitude. The dry season comes in winter and the rainy season during summer.
Northern Region Climate
The northern region, which is the driest part of the country, experiences hot and dry climate. The total annual rainfall of the area is about 1000 millimeters. There is only one rainy season in the north that reaches the pear in the summer months of May, June, July, and September. The winter is usually very hot with temperatures during the day hitting up to a maximum of 35°C. Sometimes the temperatures go beyond this maximum temperature; especially from February to April. Although the days are very hot, the nights are relatively cool with temperatures dropping to 23°C. The climate of the northern region of Ghana is influenced by dry winds blowing from the Sahara desert. These winds come from southern Burkina Faso in the months of December to around April and carry a lot of dust. The dust’s fine particles that are suspended in the air reduce visibility and causes respiratory complications. The northern parts of Ghana also experience low humidity.
Southern Region Climate
The winter season in the southern parts of Ghana is not very hot as compared to the northern region. During the daytime, the temperatures are about 31°C up to 32°C in the months of February and March. There are two rainy seasons from March to July and during the months of September to November. June is the month that records the highest amount of rainfall. Generally, regions in south Ghana experience high amounts of rainfall ranging from 1,400 to 1600 millimeters annually. However, some areas like eastern parts of Lake Volta and southwestern parts of Kumasi receive rains of up to 2000 millimeters every year. The duration of sunshine is usually not very long in the south because high humidity causes the sky to be cloudy most of the time. Consequently, the longest periods of sunshine are seven hours and this comes in the months of February, March, and April.
Eastern Coast Climate
This climate is experienced along the coastline where the capital city of Ghana is situated. The eastern coast has a warm and dry climate. Winter seasons here are less hot compared to northern Ghana, but humidity is comparatively higher due to the region’s proximity to the sea. The rains start much earlier from March with June recording the highest amount of rainfall at around 195 millimeters. The rains subside and pick up again from mid-September to October. The total amount of rainfall received in a year is about 790 millimeters. The sky is cloudy even when the rainfall reduces. The region records a maximum of eight hours of sunshine in November and December. The highest temperature is 33°C during the day; dropping to a minimum of 22°C at night. The high diurnal temperatures heat the sea waters making the east coast warm throughout the year.
Western Coast Climate
Along the western coastline which is located around the Cape Coast, Takoradi and its environs, the climate is hot and humid. This region experiences more frequent rainfalls than the east coast. The rains increase gradually from 165 millimeters in April to 325 millimeters in May. The highest amount of rainfall comes in June when the western coast of Ghana receives 480 millimeters of rain. The rains fall from April, all the way to October such that the only months that would be considered relatively dry are December, January, and February that receive the least amount of rainfall. These months record 65 millimeters, 35 millimeters, and 65 millimeters of rains respectively. The total amount of rainfall in this region can reach 2000 millimeters annually. Temperatures are lower both in the day and night in comparison to the east coast.
The Central Ghana Climate
Central Ghana experiences a tropical wet and dry savanna climate. The wet and dry seasons are very distinct as temperature varies with season and altitude. Temperatures are high throughout the year with average temperatures being 32°C. However, the temperature drops during the rainy seasons from the months of June to October when the sky is often cloudy. The dry season lasts from November to March and is characterized by hot days and cool nights. On the contrary, the wet season has its peak in August and September with 190 millimeters and 215 millimeters of rainfall respectively. The total annual rainfall is between 1,060 millimeters to 1,400 millimeters. In the south-central parts, which is usually dominated by forests, there are two dry and two rainy seasons. The total annual rainfall is high ranging from 1,270 millimeters to 2,180 millimeters. The high amounts of rains are attributed to the high humidity.