Climatic Belt of Africa

Since the equator crosses Africa almost in the middle, the climatic zones are repeated on its territory twice: to the north and south from the equator.

The equatorial climate belt covers the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and the basin of the Congo. It is also called the “eternal summer” belt. Here constantly high temperature and humidity. In the morning it’s sunny. During the day, heated and saturated with moisture, air rises upward, powerful rain clouds are formed. After noon, a downpour starts with a thunderstorm. Here, in fact, the rain pours like a bucket, because the equatorial shower is a continuous wall of water. Fortunately, these showers last not for long, and by sunset again in the evening. And so every day, from year to year. During the year, more than 2000 mm of precipitation falls. Such weather is conditioned by warm and moist equatorial air masses prevailing throughout the year.

On both sides of the equatorial belt, approximately to 15-20 northern

and southern latitudes, lie subequatorial belts. Here during the year, also high with a slight fluctuation in temperature, but for a year there are two seasons – dry in winter and humid in summer. So in the Northern Hemisphere rain occurs when the Sun is at the zenith above the Northern Tropic. Over six months, more than 1000 mm of precipitation falls. At this time over the Southern Tropics a dry season. Six months later, with the change in the position of the sun, the seasons change: over the Southern Tropic – rains, over the Northern – dry. The presence of dry and wet seasons is due to the predominance of two air masses: in winter – dry tropical, in summer – wet equatorial. The closer to the tropics, the less precipitation, and the duration of the dry season is longer.

The tropical belts in Africa correspond to the tropical sprat wallpaper of the hemisphere. During the year dry tropical air masses dominate here. Summer in the tropics is extremely hot, the sky is almost always cloudless. The air heats up to +30 … +40 C. At night, the surface quickly cools due to the absence

of clouds, and the air temperature can drop to +5 … + 10 ° С. That is, there is a very large daily amplitude of temperature fluctuations. In the daytime it is difficult to breathe with hot hot air, therefore all living things seem to freeze. In summer, often dry winds blow, which carry clouds of sand, covering the sun.

The northern tropical belt is much drier than the southern one due to its large extent from west to east and proximity to Eurasia.

Within the tropical climatic zone, climatic regions are distinguished. In the north and south-west of the continent the climate is tropical continental, that is, it is very dry with significant annual amplitudes of fluctuating air temperatures. On a narrow strip of coastline to the Drakensberg Mountains in the southeast, a tropical marine climate is formed. Because of the influence of the South-East trade wind, rain here goes evenly throughout the year, and annual fluctuations in air temperatures are mitigated by the impact of the ocean.

The extreme south and north of Africa lie in subtropical climatic zones. Here in the summer in a period when the tropical air masses dominate, there is hot and dry weather. The air warms up to +24 … + 28 ° С. In winter, with the arrival of moderate air masses, the temperature drops to +8 … + 12 ° C and rains begin, although the amount of precipitation is insignificant -350-500 mm. This type of climate is called Mediterranean. It is typical for northern Africa and the extreme south-west. In the southeast of the mainland in the subtropics, the marine climatic region is distinguished with uniform moistening throughout the year. This is due to the influence of the South-East trade wind on this territory.

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Climatic Belt of Africa