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The weather out of Africa

A summary of the weather across Africa from cool and damp in the northwest to the hot and humid conditions in the south.
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2013 11:22

Eating out. Fine weather over Mogadishu, but parts of southern Somalia can expect a few showers over the next few days. [Reuters]

While winter continues to make its presence felt across parts of Europe, some of that unseasonal weather has also spilt into Africa. As we near the spring equinox, with the sun approaching the equator, we have the seasonal showers bringing heavy downpours right across the tropics. However, cool damp weather continues to affect the northwest of the continent with hot, sticky weather in the far south.

The latest blast of wintry weather now moving across western Europe has been caused by the passage of the jet stream diving south across the UK, France and the Iberian Peninsula. This has also made its presence felt across Morocco and Algeria.

Heavy rain has caused some flooding here. The city of Chefchaouen, just to the south of Tangier had 55m of rain on Tuesday, whilst the old capital of Meknes, located to the east of Rabat had 58mm of rain.

This cool damp weather is holding those temperatures down well below the norm. Algiers has struggled to reach double figures over the last few days despite a March average of 17 Celsius. Overnight lows are likely to dip to around 4 degrees on Friday night into Saturday which is actually cold enough for a touch of ground frost.

Those temperatures should rise to around 23 degrees by Sunday afternoon as we pick up a southerly wind also known as a sirocco wind.

That increase in temperatures coincides with the movement of thundery showers away from the central Mediterranean. That stormy weather that has sat over Italy and the Balkans recently is now in the process of moving east, so we will see brighter skies once again over the Vatican over the next few days.

This mobile weather will break the heat, currently sitting over Egypt. We expect the temperature in Cairo to go from around 36 Celsius now to nearer the low 20s by Saturday. The March average here is 24 degrees.

For central Africa, it really is just a case of seasonal rains running from the southern fringes of west Africa, through the Gulf of Guinea and across the Rift Valley into northeast Kenya and south Somalia. These rains then spread as far south as Angola, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

In the far south of the continent it is the extended summer that has been causing much discomfort. As a result the South African Weather Service has been issuing extreme heat and humidity warnings here for the last few weeks.

The nasty conditions are currently at their worst around the Western Cape. We should an improvement here over the weekend as light showers feed in from the south east knocking around 10 degrees off the temperature across the cape Point region with highs around 23 Celsius.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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