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Is Africa warm? [Breaking down Africa’s Climate]

by Abbey

Climate is the average weather condition of a place over a long period. The climatic condition of the continent of Africa varies from one region to another, however, most of the continent lies within the tropics. Africa’s nearness to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is a major influencing factor on the overall climatic conditions of the continent.

In Africa, urban areas tend to have a much higher temperature due to less wind and very low relative humidity. Rainfall as a climatic element is a major differentiating factor of the African climate.

Generally, most of Africa is located within the tropics, making it warm especially during the summer. The continent is subdivided into various tropical climates which include; Rainforest, Grassland, Semi-Arid, and desert. One-third of Africa’s landscape is dominated by deserts such as the Sahara Desert and the Kalahari Desert.

These deserts further exercise great influence on the overall weather condition of the continent. Notably, Ethiopia an African nation, has the highest annual average temperature which Is estimated at 33.9 degrees throughout the year.

General climatic conditions in different parts of Africa

Climate Map of Africa

Climatic Map of Africa

Much of the African climate is dominated by desert conditions along its southern and northern ends. Central Africa on the other hand is wetter with grassland, rainforest, and semi-arid climatic conditions. West Africa has the tropical climate or the rainforest.

African climate is classified into tropical climates and subtropical climates. Tropical climates include; Rainforests, Savanna Grasslands, Semi-arid regions, and deserts, while the subtropical climate includes; Humid tropical and Desert climates.

Is Africa always warm?

Africa’s location in the tropics makes It warm and hot throughout the year. Notably, some parts of Africa experience an annual cold period which is referred to as the Harmattan period. The Harmattan period occurs between December to January, it is marked by dusty winds and low average daily temperature. When the world experiences winter, a gust of cold wind blows to Africa called the Harmattan.

The northernmost and southernmost fringes of the African continent have a Mediterranean climate in contrast to the rest of Africa.

Although climatic conditions in Africa vary between countries, altitudes, and seasons, it should be noted that most parts of Africa are warm and hot.

Is Africa getting warmer?

The most important issue of concern today is the issue of climate change. Rising sea levels, rising annual temperature and the melting of icebergs have caused considerable damages to the earth. The paradox of the climate change issue however is that although African countries have contributed lower to the global c02 emissions, they are disproportionally affected by its effect.

Since the early 1990s, the African continent has experienced temperature rises that are significantly higher than the global average. A study of Africa’s 30-year warming trends shows that Africa has remarkably warmed than the rest of the world in both ocean and land.

A report by the United Nations projected that the warming trends in the African continent will continue and will continue to experience increased temperature if nothing significant is done to control the causal factors.

Why is Africa so warm?

Africa is hot because most of the country lies within the Equatorial zone in between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn making it the most tropical continent.

The intensity of sunlight coupled with its geolocation also makes Africa vulnerable to high temperatures. Despite this some parts of Africa are still cold, countries such as Lesotho, and some parts of South Africa experience very cold winter periods annually.

For Africa, the temperature difference is mostly a function of altitude, as places with higher altitudes experience a remarkable temperature variation.

Is South Africa warm? Understanding why south Africa is warm but also sees snow

South Africa has a temperature that is typical of countries in the Southern Hemisphere with warm temperatures throughout the year except for June – August.

During the June – August periods in South Africa, the temperature sometimes drops below freezing point. In South Africa snow is mostly a rare occurrence, and at least 5 snow periods have been experienced in South Africa, the most recent 07 August 2012.

Why is south Africa warmer than Australia?

On average, South Africa is not warmer than Australia. For example, when we compare Pretoria and Alice Springs which are located in the southern zone of both South Africa and Australia, Pretoria has a temperature of between 18-29 ° C, while Alice Springs has a much warmer temperature of 21-36 ° C during the summer. Therefore, the notion that South Africa is warmer than Australia is not true.


  • Abbey

    Abbey Johnson has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.

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