Ivory Coast: Weather Overview

Friday 17 September
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About Ivory Coast

  • Capital: Yamoussoukro
  • Area: 322,460km2
  • Population: 18,373,000
  • Currency: Franc (XOF)

About Ivory Coast

With a tropical climate along the coast of the country and a semi-arid climate inland towards the North, the Ivory Coast has a wide diversity of substantial characteristics; regardless of its size.

The eastern area of its coast is level and exceptionally sandy, whereas, on the western side of its coast, it is extremely rocky and surrounded by mountains. Inland beyond the coast, there is a tropical forest that is 150km to 300km wide, consequently creating a wide-ranging climate throughout the entire country.

Throughout the overall area of the Ivory Coast, the climate can be classed as relatively humid and warm and, in general, is in the midway between an equatorial to a tropical climate. The seasons are not commonly known in forms of temperature but are recognised merely by the amount of rainfall obtained and the general direction and speed of the wind. Another distinct feature of the typical seasons of the Ivory Coast is the present continental and maritime air masses which tend to move with the whereabouts of the sun from the south to the north. This will establish the cycles of seasons that link with the heat and the cold in regards to positioning near the equator. This can then lead to three negligible seasons. The months from January to June see the maritime air masses following the sun and pushing warm air to the north across the northern part of Africa. A low-pressure belt; also known as an inter-tropical front moves in front of the air mass carrying warm air, rain and strong winds from the southwest of the country. From July to December the solar cycle retracts as a continental air mass begins to flow to the south over the Ivory Coast. This then releases a more dry air to the north, while winds throughout this time are calm and infrequently reach beyond fifteen to twenty kilometres per hour.

The coolest time of the year begins in November and will conclude near the end of March; this is, without doubt, the most enjoyable time to vacation to the Ivory coast as temperatures are at their most pleasant. The Months of March to May are generally very hot and every day, which can be a rather unpleasant time for visitors to vacation to the country. While May to November is classed at the wet season, and even though the country still obtains high temperatures the amount of rainfall increases the average humidity becoming quite oppressive and muggy.

With thanks to the milder temperatures throughout November to March; this is, therefore, the most ideal time to visit the Ivory Coast. The Fetes de Masques; which is held in a small town near Man, and the Fete du Dipri; located in Gomon are the countryâs most admired festivals that take place throughout this time of the year annually. With the months of May to November experiencing the most rainfall and again being very hot and sticky, this is consequently the least favourable period to visit.

Rainfall

Average precipitation throughout the entire region of the Ivory Coast is very unpredictable as two distinct climatic zones are generated by the irregular winds that circulate the surrounding area.  Profound rain will typically fall throughout the months between June to October, which averages around 1100mm per year. Since the coastline features a more equatorial climate, rainy conditions can be expected at any time of the year. The four seasons are normally noticeable throughout the inland areas with mean rainfall hovering around 2000mm per year. Heavy rain will generally fall over the entire country throughout May to July and short brisk showers will usually take place from August to September. The partial dry season, however, is not completely dry still releasing light rainfall from October to early December which is then followed by an actual dry season from mid-December to April.

Temperature and Humidity

Unlike average precipitation; temperatures and relative humidity commonly follow the same pattern year by year. Average climates will normally range at 25°C in the coldest months of January and 30°C in the hottest month of August; therefore showing very little seasonal variation. However, lows can drop to as cold as 10°C throughout the winter but as high at 40°C in the summer. The hottest area of the Ivory Coast would most certainly be the northern Savannah region where the high temperatures of 40°C are obtained. Yet, the coastal regions stay relatively steady and pleasant ranging from 23°C to 27°C. Temperatures are typically higher in the south but because of the constant coastal breezes, the inland climates will frequently exceed the temperatures of that in the south. Both Annual and daily variations of temperature and humidity are minimal throughout the coastline but incline profoundly inland towards the north. This results in average relative humidity lingering around 85 per cent in the south but only 71 per cent in the north.

Coastal Climate

The coastal region features a sub-equatorial climate experiencing warm and humid climates, with an extensive wet season from May until mid-July, a small rainy season from September to November and two dry seasons.

For the duration of the rainy season, it can rain endlessly for several recurring days, or strongly for over an hour. The rainfall is profuse, with monthly averages varying between 26 mm and 610 mm from January until the end of June, while the climate will never fall below 27°C.

Inland Climate

Although often warmer, the Inland is more pleasant, for it is easier to tolerate hot climates in dried out areas as to ones in humid regions. Temperatures are usually between 28°C and 37°C and rainfall throughout this region is very minimal averaging at less than 20mm per month.

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