What is the climate of?

Climate of Africa

Africa has a generally uniform climate. This is due to the position of the continent being in the Tropical Zone, cool ocean currents, and the absence of mountainous climatic barriers.

The central continent and the eastern coast of Madagascar have a tropical rain forest climate and an average annual rainfall of about 1780 mm . Guinea coast climate is equatorial like , except that rainfall is concentrated in one season with no months rainless. To the north and south is savanna climate zone which covers about one-fifth of Africa. Here there is wet season during the summer months and a dry season during the winter months. Total annual rainfall varies from 550 mm to more than 1550 mm . Away from the equator, to the north and south, one can find the drier steppe climate zone. Average annual rainfall varies between 250 and 500 mm and takes place in one season. Africa has a larger area in arid, or desert, climate zones than any continent except Australia. In the Sahara, daily and seasonal extremes of temperatures are great.

In the highlands of eastern Africa, particularly in Kenya and Uganda, rainfall is well distributed throughout the year, and temperatures are equable. The climate on the high plateau of southern Africa is temperate.

The movement of a high pressure belt that circles the globe between 25 and 30 south latitude during the winter and low-pressure systems that occur during summer vary the temperature and rainfall patterns of South Africa . Average temperatures from south to north are similar. Maximum temperatures often exceed 32C in the summer, and reach 38C in some areas of the far north. The country's highest recorded temperatures, close to 48C, have occurred in both the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

A small area in the northwest has a desert climate. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights. Rainfall generally occurs during summer which is during November through March, although in the southwest, around Cape Town, rainfall occurs in winter months June to August. Temperatures change due to variations in elevation, terrain, and ocean currents more than latitude.

Africa is the continent that will suffer most under global warming. Past history has shown that periods of drought have nearly wiped out large populations due to epidemics of bovine pleuropneumonia, rinderpest and small pox. Events like this are going to become more common in the future, and we need to be ready for them