Kenya: Weather Overview
Situated in the Southern hemisphere, Kenya experiences seasons directly reverse to that of Europe and all other localities above the equator. Kenya is geographically located and embarked on the north by Ethiopia and Somalia, on the south by Tanzania, and on the west by Uganda.
Although Kenya is within close proximity to the equator, yearly rainfall is very minimal and also diverse therefore becoming very hard to predict. This is because the inter-tropical belt of cloud and rain passes across the country fairly quickly in April and October. Because the predominant seasonal winds; the north and south monsoons have a typical pathway that will normally bypass vast areas of land before actually reaching Kenya.
Due to the decline in temperature with altitude, much of Kenya features climates that are typically subtropical or temperate. These can commonly be related to those in southern Britain, California or summer in France as to the typical equatorial climates in most places of Africa. Features common to equatorial climates such as constant high temperatures and high relative humidity are only experienced in the coastal regions of Kenya, and because of cooling sea breezes and lower hours of sunshine, they are even less domineering then most other regions with a similar climate.
As an essential rule, Kenya experiences two, long dry seasons then various wet seasons in November and December and again in March and May. Lake Victoria is the wettest region of Kenya however the coastal areas still feature excessive precipitation with up to 1000mm annual in various places. The average temperature will frequently stay mild throughout the rainy period apart from the mountainous districts which will commonly drop below freezing.
The country can be divided broadly into three climatic regions, each with certain features of equatorial climates; the coastal regions with its tropical humidity, the savannah, with its dried out heat and highlands or mountainous areas with cool refreshing airs.
The coast of Kenya experiences a tropical climate and even though at specific times of the year the humidity is awfully high, the soothing sea breezes guarantee enjoyable and comforting conditions. With average sea temperatures rarely dropping under 26°C the all year round conditions for swimming are magnificent.
Excessive climates create the Kenyan coast into an ideal location for a relaxing beach vacation. Mombasa; an extremely popular beachside resort features average temperatures between 23°C to 30°C annually. In months prior or after the wet season visitors can expect the benefits of dry warm days creating an ideal day for the beach or other outdoor activities. The months of April and May, yet experience the most precipitation throughout the year on the coast so if roasting in the sun or outdoor leisureâs are your idea of a perfect vacation itâs a good idea to avoid the coastal areas throughout these months.
On the other hand, the Savannah climate; also known as the wet/dry climate varies dramatically. The Tropical wet/dry climate is located on the opposite sides of the tropical climates.
Located at higher latitude, the difference in insulation is greater; hence this climate has a larger annual temperature range than the tropical coastal climate. The average annual temperature, however, is very comparable to that of similar tropical climates. Average monthly temperatures in the Tropical wet/dry climate range from 18oC to above 25oC.
The Savannah climate is the driest of all tropical climates. Like the monsoon climate, it has a discrete variation to its precipitation. Its wet season, however, is much smaller and obtains a lot less rainfall than that typical to the monsoon climate.
This is the central and western area of the country and much of this area is located between 1200 and 2200 meters in height. The climate of this region is characterised by two rainy seasons with an average rainfall around 1000-1300 mm annually. The rain falls between April and May (the rainy months) and between November and December.
The countryâs capital Nairobi is located in this region and has a temperate climate moderated by the altitude at 1661m. The summers are sunny and warm as winters are cool. The average maximum temperature in Nairobi differ between 25°C in February and March and 20°C in July, the average minimum temperatures vary between 10°C in July and 14°C in April. The rain falls between April and May and between November and December, the dry months are those between June and September, the average annual rainfall is 1000 mm.
It is not unexpected that with such a constructive climate; sunny, only moderately wet, not too hot and a great variety of scenery, wildlife, game parks, and good quality communications, Kenya has many attractions enjoyable for both locals and tourists.