The Nile basin has two types of climates. In the northern part, the part where the Sudan and Egypt lie, has virtually no rainfall in the summer. In contrast the southern portion, which encompasses the Ethiopian Plateau, has heavy rains during the summer months. During the season between October and May both regions are relatively dry due to the presence of the northeast trade winds.
There are parts of the East African lakes region and southwestern Ethiopia that have more tropical climates. Rainfall occurs throughout these regions. However, the rainy season is considered to occur from April to October. Temperatures vary between 60 to 80 degrees F., with relative humidity averaging around 80 percent. The southernmost part of The Sudan has a similar climate, with as much as 50 inches of rain during the rainy season.
North of this tropical region there is a shorter rainy season occurring from July to August. There is less rainfall. In the central region of Sudan, the seasons start with a cool, dry winter (December to February). This changes in March to hot, dry weather with temperatures averaging 105 degrees F. Finally in July the rains come and the conditions are hot and rainy. Rainfall in this region varies from 10 to 21 inches annually. As one continues north of Khartoum the annual rainfall is 5 inches.
The remaining area in the north is characterized as having a desert climate. This area includes northern Sudan and the Egyptian desert. It is considered to be arid and extremely hot. In June the average temperature is 117 degrees F. In Egypt's desert there is a winter season with cooler temperatures and rainfall varies from one inch in the south and increases up to 8 inches as it reaches the coastal area. In these desert areas sandstorms can occur during the spring months. These sandstorms can last for three or four days and end with a "blue sun", a desert phenomenon.
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