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Ethiopia’s ecological diversity has produced some interesting climate zones, running from arid regions in the Ethiopia highlands to the Somali region that is occasionally plagued by cyclones. The higher you climb the mountains, the colder they get. The rainfall varies along with the topography. In the arid regions, it rarely rains and even when it rains, the temperatures are still hot. If you are planning an Ethiopian safari, find out about its climate and weather. This way, you can fine-tune your plans and know what to expect upon your arrival. The temperatures will also help you decide what to pack.

Seasons in Ethiopia

Ethiopia has four seasons. We have shared the data along with the maximum and minimum average temperature for Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.

SeasonsMonthsMax Average Temperature for Addis-AbabaMinAverage Temperature for Addis-Ababa
AutumnMarch to May23.1°C (73.6°F)11.5°C (52.7°F)
SummerJune to August20.6°C (69°F)11.5°C (52.7°F)
SpringSeptember to November20.7°C(69.3°F)8°C (46.4°F)
WinterDecember to February22°C (71.6°F)8.6°C (47.5°F)

Temperature Data: Weather Atlast

Ethiopia’s Climate Zones

Cyclones

The Somali region, in southeastern Ethiopia, is occasionally plagued with tropical cyclones. These cyclones usually occur from May to December. When a cyclone reaches this region , it moves inland and causes destructive winds and heavy rainfalls until it gradually weakens.

Mountains

Tullu Deemtu and Batu are two mountains rising from the Ethiopian Plateau in the Bale Mountains. The Bale Mountains are known for many reasons; one of them is their diversity of ecosystems. The bottom of the mountain is a forest that covers almost 2,800 meters before being replaced by rugged mountain vegetation that can survive cold nights. Above 4,000 meters, it becomes a cold desert preventing the growth of any vegetation.

Ethiopian Highlands (Ethiopian Plateau)

Based on the altitude, the Ethiopian plateau experiences warm, mild, or cool weather. The rainy seasos in Ethiopia is from June to September and brings heavy rainfall. During spring(March to May), the highlands may also receive occasional showers. There might also be cyclones in the afternoon. During the rainy season, rainfall occurs in the afternoon or evening with either a heavy downpour or a thunderstorm.

Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, experiences a mild climate, with warm days, cool nights, and colder winters during the dry season. In comparison, Harar, also known as Herer in the east, experiences cooler temperatures.

Arid Zones

The Ethiopian highlands are surrounded by numerous arid and semi-arid areas. These arid regions are located lower than the Ethiopian plateau with a few exceptions like Mekele. July and August are the only two months to see any rainfall in these regions. During the dry period, the heat can be intense. The arid zone located west of the Ethiopian plateau is extremely hot in the dry season with temperatures reaching as high as 40C. The temperature subsidies as the rain starts. Due to such unfavourable climatic conditions, it’s hard to peg the best time to visit the region.

The south and south-east experience scorching heat throughout the year. It has two rainfalls, March to May and October to November and both experience irregular rainfall.

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