Burkina Faso Weather and Climate
Inland Burkina Faso is located in the Sudan belt of West Africa and is in the northeast part of the Sahel, where it borders on Niger and Mali . In the north and northwest, the country has a border with Mali that has been disputed in two small wars (1974, 1985) but has finally been clarified. The course of the eastern border was only finally clarified before the International Court of Justice with Niger in 2015. In the south (from west to east) Burkina Faso borders the Ivory Coast ( Côte d’Ivoire ), Ghana , Togo and Benin . At 274,200 km², the West African landlocked country is about the same size as the old federal states.
Burkina Faso lies in the intra- tropical convergence zone and is thus dominated by a tropical climate that alternates between the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season is characterized by the dry, hot desert wind, harmattan, which blows from northeast to southwest. This season extends from October to March. April is the transition month in which the harmattan is slowly replaced by the monsoon winds . This transition period corresponds to the beginning of the rainy season, which lasts from May / June to September / October. When the Sahara cools down at night, the Harmattan produces the lowest temperatures of below 10 ° C in January. When the winds break in April, the highest temperatures occur when there is no wind, sometimes over 45 ° C in the shade.
With regard to the amount of precipitation, three major climatic zones can be distinguished: the Sahel, the North Sudanese and the South Sudanese zones.
The Sahelian climatic zone extends to the north of the country between 13 ° 5 ‘and 15 ° 3’ north latitude. It is characterized by low rainfall (less than 600 mm) and high temperatures. The northern Sudanese climatic zone lies in the center between 11 ° 3 ‘and 13 ° 5’ north latitude. It has an average rainfall of around 750 mm annually. The South Sudanese climatic zone extends to the south between 9 ° 3 ‘and 11 ° 3’ north latitude. It is characterized by higher amounts of precipitation and lower average temperatures. August is the month with the highest rainfall and humidity (80%) in the whole country. Evaporation peaks in March and April (> 400 mm).
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