By Jenna Jolie
To make the most of your vacation to Ethiopia, you need to have a basic awareness of the country's difficult environment. The first law of the weather in Ethiopia is that it changes drastically depending on altitude. As a result, you should examine specific weather forecasts for the region where you'll be spending the most time.
If you intend to tour around, bring lots of layers. Traveling from one place to another in Ethiopia might imply a temperature fluctuation from 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) in a couple of hours.
1. Regions in Ethiopia
Get through the weather in Ethiopia: Ethiopia's enormous geographical size and diversified terrain result in varying climates as well as temperature and precipitation disparities across the country. High rainfall and humidity define Ethiopia's equatorial rainforests in the South and Southwest, whereas the Afro-Alpine on the peaks of the Semien and Bale mountains, as well as the Northeast, east, and Southeast plains, experience desert-like conditions. The highland parts of the country's center and north have colder weather. The Eastern part of the nation is desert and receives minimal rainfall. Seasonal rainfall in Ethiopia is mostly governed by the migration of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), and rainfall varies significantly across the nation. Bega, Belg, and Kiremt are Ethiopia's three rainy seasons.
Kiremt, the primary rainy season, lasts from mid-June to mid-September and accounts for 50-80% of yearly rainfall. Belg, a periodic secondary wet season that occurs from February to May in parts of central and northern Ethiopia, is characterized by much less rainfall. Southern Ethiopia has two separate wet seasons, Belg from February to May and Bega from October to December, with drier and cooler weather. The mean annual rainfall distribution in the south-western highlands is roughly 2,000 mm and less than 300 mm in the south-eastern and north-eastern lowlands. Temperatures in Ethiopia may range from -15° C in the mountains to more than 25° C in the lowlands.
Most of Ethiopia has two distinct climatic seasons: a dry season (October to May) and a rainy season (June to August) (June - August). On the other hand, differences in altitude tend to add a lot of variance, both in terms of temperatures and rainfall. Lowland locations are often hotter than Highland regions, which represent a large chunk of Ethiopia. The weather conditions are substantially colder here, and greater quantities of rainfall are to be expected.
The majority of Ethiopia is far more moderate than may be expected of a tropical nation so frequently associated with drought, which is worth noting when determining when to visit.
Addis Ababa offers a delightfully mild environment due to its elevated plateau location, which may be a welcome break for those traveling from the country's arid parts. Annual temperatures are likewise very consistent due to the capital's closeness to the equator. The dry season is the ideal time to visit Addis (November to February). Although the days are bright and sunny, expect overnight temperatures to drop to as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).
June and September are the wettest months. The sky is cloudy at this time of year, and you'll need an umbrella to stay dry.
Weather in different parts of Ethiopia
2. Climate in Ethiopia
The majority of its top tourist destinations, including Addis Ababa, the main points along the northern circuit, and Harar, are located in highland areas where daytime temperatures typically peak between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius, and evenings are often cool enough to justify wearing a jumper or sweatshirt. Thicker clothing may be required at higher altitudes, such as the Bale or Simien mountains. The southern Rift Valley and South Omo are somewhat warmer, but only by a few degrees, and it is only in the northern Rift Valley, in towns such as Dire Dawa, where year-round temperatures may reach dangerously high levels.
Furthermore, far from being abnormally dry, Ethiopia has a reasonably wet environment, with Addis Ababa. For example, getting almost double the yearly rainfall of London. The majority of this precipitation, however, is very seasonal, with most localities getting at least seventy percent of their yearly allocation in three to four months. This rainy season in Addis Ababa and the Northern and Central highlands lasts from June to late September, with July and August being the wettest months. The rainy season begins and finishes a few weeks earlier in the South. South Omo is wettest between March and June, when the region's rough and muddy roads can be severely impacted, and travel during this time is not recommended.
The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, is located at an elevation of 7,726 feet, and as such, its climate remains relatively cool throughout the year. Even in the hottest months (March to May), average highs rarely exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). Throughout the year, temperatures drop quickly once the sun goes down, and frosty mornings are common. Towards Ethiopia's borders, elevations decrease, and temperatures rise accordingly. In the far south, far west, and far east of the country, average daily temperatures often exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
Eastern weather in Ethiopia is typically warm and dry, while the Northern Highlands is cool and wet in season. If you're planning on visiting the Omo River Region, be prepared for scorching temperatures. Rain falls infrequently in this area, although the river itself serves to keep the land fertile even at the height of the dry season.
Climate in Addis Ababa
Mekele, Northern Highlands
Mekele is the capital of the Tigray region and is located in the country's north. Its average weather statistics are comparable to those of other northern locations such as Lalibela, Bahir Dar, and Gonder (although the latter two are often a few degrees warmer than Mekele). The yearly temperatures in Mekele are likewise quite regular, with the warmest months being April, May, and June. The majority of the city's rainfall falls between July and August. Precipitation is negligible for the remainder of the year, and the temperature is often lovely.
Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia
Dire Dawa lies in eastern Ethiopia and is the second largest city after Addis Ababa. Dire Dawa and the surrounding region are lower than the Central and Northern Highlands, thus, considerably warmer. The average daily mean is around 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), but average highs for the hottest month, June, exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Dire Dawa is also arider, with most rain falling during the short rainy season (March to April) and the long rainy season (July to September).
3. Dry Season in Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a dry season from October to May. Most tourists choose to visit Ethiopia this time, hence it is considered the country's "high season." There is rain sometimes, although it is typically only a light shower.
Ethiopia's 'winter' season lasts from December to February, when the overall climate is colder than the rest of the year. Temperatures are rising again from March through May. May is frequently the warmest month in Addis Ababa.
In Ethiopia, the driest months fall between November and February. Although the highlands are exceptionally cold this time of year, beautiful sky and photogenic sunshine more than compensate for the need to bring a few additional garments.
You won't have to worry about rain if you visit the Danakil Depression or the Ogaden Desert in southwest Ethiopia. These locations are famously dry, with little rain falling throughout the year.
What should travelers carry to Ethiopia during the dry season?
Ethiopians are laid-back, so loose-fitting, casual attire is appropriate. Bring some warm clothing, especially if you'll be in the Northern region, where temperatures can be substantially lower. Even in warmer weather, shorts are not generally acceptable, so prepare accordingly.
Dry season in Ethiopia
4. The wet season in Ethiopia
Ethiopia has its summer monsoon season from June to August when rainfall is at its greatest and thunderstorms are common. Even though it is rather overcast at this time of year, tourists can typically count on at least a couple of hours of sunshine each day, mostly in the morning.
Ethiopia's rainy season, in principle, begins in April and concludes in September. However, each region has different rainfall patterns. The wettest months to visit historic sites in the North are July and August, while peak rains occur in the South in April and May, then again in October. If possible, you should avoid visiting Ethiopia during the wettest months, as flood-damaged roads can make overland travel difficult.
What should visitors carry to Ethiopia during the wet season?
If you're visiting Ethiopia during the wet season, remember to bring a pair of durable, waterproof shoes. These are essential items, especially if you plan on hiking or seeing the rock churches in the North. You should also bring a windproof, waterproof jacket, a decent helmet, and sunscreen; sunburn can occur all year, especially at higher elevations.
Because of Ethiopia's closer proximity to the equator, it has a 12-hour day and 12-hour night, as well as a consistent temperature throughout the day and year.
This article describes the weather in various regions around Ethiopia, as well as the weather in different seasons, with the goal of providing tourists with an overview of the weather in Ethiopia. Hope this information will be helpful to you so that you will be well-prepared for a memorable trip to Ethiopia.
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