Common features of Africa’s climate

Africa is the hottest continent of the world. This is due primarily to the fact that most of its territory is in a hot thermal belt between the tropics. Here throughout the year the sun is high above the horizon and twice a year, anywhere in Africa between the North and South Tropics is at its zenith. It was in North Africa in 1922 in the vicinity of the city of Tripoli was recorded the highest temperature on Earth – + 57.8 ° C. The average annual temperature in most of the continent is +25 … + 30 ° C. Even in the north and south of the continent, which are in the subtropical belt, the average temperature of the coldest winter month does not drop below +10 … + 12 ° С. In Africa, winter differs from summer not so much in air temperature as in precipitation. And in some territories during the year the weather is almost the same

Precipitation over the territory of the continent is very unevenly distributed. Most of them fall in the equatorial climatic zone,

especially in the basin of the Congo River. This is explained by the location here of the low pressure region, the equatorial air masses, which, rising, cooling and forming clouds with abundant precipitation.

In the territories through which the Northern and Southern Tropics pass, there are belts of high atmospheric pressure, tropical air dominates with downward air currents, so there is very little precipitation here.

Yet in the Southern Hemisphere, there are fewer areas with less rainfall than in the Northern Hemisphere. This is due to many factors, in particular, the smaller length of the continent in the south from west to east, the proximity of the ocean and the features of the relief.

In addition, the climate of Africa is affected by constant winds – the trade winds.

North-East trade winds blowing in North Africa, do not bring moisture, as they move from the mainland Eurasia. Therefore, over this part of the continent is formed a very dry continental tropical climate, rains almost do not fall out.

The southern part of the continent is under the influence of the oceans. The South-East

trade winds moving from the Indian Ocean carry moist marine tropical air. And although some of this moisture remains on the eastern slopes of the Drakensberg Mountains, there is much more precipitation here than in the North Tropic region.

A lot of precipitation occurs on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, especially on the western slopes of the Cameroon mountain, where their number reaches 10,000 mm per year. This is the wettest place in Africa. I will humble the winds here from the Atlantic, since the pressure here is much lower than over the ocean.

In Africa there are deserts not only in the interior, but also on the coasts. You already know that the main reason for the emergence of deserts is high atmospheric pressure. Cold currents of the Atlantic Ocean reduce the air temperature in the coastal part of the continent and do not contribute to the formation of precipitation, while warm currents have the opposite effect.

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Common features of Africa’s climate