Chad: Weather Overview
- Area: 1,284,000km2
- Population: 10,111,000
- Currency: Franc (XAF)
Officially known as the Republic of Chad; Chad is landlocked country located in the heart of Africa, surrounded by the countries of Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. Being situated accurately in the middle of Africa, many would think that Chadâs characteristic climate is typically arid and mostly desert. Chad, however, experiences a wide range of temperatures, precipitations and wind speeds, due to factors such as elevation and environmental structure.
Although most of the climates in the region of and surrounding Chad are very driest out; Chad clinches a vast range of tropical climates from the south up to the north of the country. With exception of the far north, cycles of irregular wet and dry seasons are what classify the majority of the regions in the country.
The climates throughout all of Chad are very irregular and over many years have been hard to predict. This has shown that in any given year, the extent of each season is subject to change and is principally established by the locations of two large air masses that dictate the average climate of Chad. A maritime air mass that is formed over the southwest of the Atlantic Ocean and an extremely dry continental mass originated in the west. Throughout the period of the rainy season, air from the southwest is drawn towards the country and pushes the moist maritime air mass north over the entire region of Africa where it meets and bypasses the continental air system alongside a front called âinter-tropical convergence zoneâ. Throughout the second half of the year; also in the peak of the dry season, the inter-tropical convergence zone is pushed to the south of Chad, taking all remainders of precipitation with it. Even though this weather system can be irregular and at times very unpredictable it adds to the configuration of the three foremost regions of climate and vegetation.
The three main climatic regions are; the Saharan region, which experiences an extensive variety of climates between day and night; the Sahelian region, which is semi-desert; and the Sudanian region, which features comparatively, moderate climates.
The Saharan Region
Swathing approximately the northern third of Chad; the Saharan zone includes areas such as Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti alongside the more northern regions of Kanem, Batha and Biltine. The majority of this territory obtains minimal precipitation throughout an entire year, on occasions rainfall is non-existent. In the region of Faya Largeau, mean annual precipitation is less than 30mm. Oases that are placed randomly and sporadic well, supply the essential water needs for the very few palms or miniature plots of millet and vegetation crops. The more northern parts of the region feature average temperatures around 32°C on a daily basis throughout January; also the coldest month of the year, and throughout May; the hottest month, climates reach 45°C but typically climb higher. Strong winds originated in the northeast also occasionally create harsh sandstorms.
In the northern Biltine region, an area named Mortcha has a major influence in the animal agriculture and general way of life. Being dry for over nine months, the area obtains less than 350mm in a total of year; mostly occurring during the months of July and August. Given that the region's springs and wells are in very short supply of water throughout the majority of the year, the farmers typically depart with the conclusion of the rains giving the remaining land to animals such as ostriches, gazelles and antelopes that can endure with very little groundwater.
The Sahelian Region
With an extensive area that covers over 500km and runs from the region of Lac and Chari-Baguirmi east towards Guera, Ouaddai and the northern part of Salamat down to the Sudanese frontier; the Sahelian zone is virtually arid. The variance in climate between the southern âsoudanian regionâ and the desert in compared by the wet season; from June through until September and the dry season; from October through until May. The northern region of Sahel features thorny shrubs and acacia trees that grow wild, whilst the palms, cereals and vegetation crops are obtained in the various oases. The heart of Sahel typically grows grasses that are prone to droughts and small woods that can live in short supply of water. However, more rainfall is obtained in this area than to that in the Saharan region. Nâdjamena, for example, sees average high precipitation levels at 580mm per year, whereas the Ouaddai region obtains less than 500mm.
Throughout the hot and dry period; during April and May, average high climates commonly rise to 40°C and higher. The southern area of Sahel features precipitation that is adequate to allow crop manufacture on dried-out land. Numerous farmers throughout the area unite survival agriculture with the raising of sheep, cattle, goats and poultry.
The Sudanian Region
Unlike the Saharan and Sahelian regions which are rather arid areas; the Soudanian region is fairly humid. The zone includes southern areas such as Salamat, Moyen-Chari, Mayo-Kebbi, Logone Oriental, Logone Occidental and Tandjile. The wet season commences in April and concludes in October bringing anywhere between 750mm to 1250mm of rainfall every year. In Moundou, daytime climates range from 27°C in the coldest month of January to 40°C or higher in the summer months of March to May.
The zone of the Soudanian is primarily Savannah or partially flat plains combined with a blend of tropical or subtropical vegetation. The growth of grasses and woodlands throughout the rainy season is vibrant but tend to die and turn brown during the four to five months of dryness throughout November to March.