Weatherwatch: Madagascar’s varied island climate


Weather on Africa’s largest island changes most dramatically from east to west

Madagascar, Africa’s largest island and the fourth largest in the world, has a very varied climate. Although the island is far longer, from north to south, than it is broad, the biggest differences are between the east and west of the country.

For most of the year, eastern Madagascar is exposed to oceanic trade winds, which bring plenty of moisture, with low cloud from November to February. The port city of Toamasina is wet all year, with up to 450mm (18in) of rain a month, especially in summer and early autumn. Despite this, sunshine hours range from six to eight hours a day all year.

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