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Climate - Guinea

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack

See also the US version (°F - inches - feet)

Flag - Guinea

In Guinea, the climate is tropical, with a dry season in winter and a rainy season in summer, due to the arrival of the south-west monsoon.
The rainfall is more abundant along the coast, where even 4,000 millimetres of rain fall in a year, while it's less abundant in the north and north-east, where precipitation is slightly above 1,000 millimetres per year. Although the rains are heavier on the coast, the rainy season lasts longer in the south-east, where the first showers occur as early as the second half of February, and the last ones occur in November, while in Conakry, on the coast, the rains occur from May to November, and in Kankan, in the east, from May to October.
The inland areas of Guinea are almost everywhere occupied by hills and low mountains, reaching at most an altitude of around 1,500 metres in Fouta-Djallon (in the north-west) and Mount Nimba (in the south-east); from the mountains, several important rivers such as Niger, Senegal and Gambia have their source. The altitude temper a bit the climate, so much so that the warmest cities are those found at lower elevations, such as Koundara in the north, which is located in the plain and is very hot from March to May, before the arrival of the monsoon, when highs are normally around 38/40 °C.
Here are the average temperatures of Koundara.
Koundara average temperatures
Koundara J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 17 19 22 24 25 24 22 22 22 23 20 16
Max (°C) 34 37 38 39 38 34 31 31 31 32 33 34

As mentioned, the north is the least rainy area of country, and in addition the rainy season is shorter. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Koundara
Koundara J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 0 0 0 2 50 135 250 305 205 80 10 0 1100
Days 0 0 0 1 3 10 14 17 17 6 1 1 70

The warming in spring is less pronounced along the coast, which is mitigated by the ocean breezes, but also in the inland areas of the south-central, both because of the higher altitude, and the earliness of the monsoon. So in N'Zerekoré, at 500 metres above sea level, located in the south-east, the average daytime temperatures do not go above 32 °C in February and March, and in Conakry, on the coast, above 32 °C in April.
NZerekoré average temperatures
N'Zerekoré J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 16 18 20 21 21 20 20 20 20 20 19 17
Max (°C) 31 32 32 31 30 29 27 27 28 29 30 30

As mentioned, the south-east is the area where the rainy season is longer. Here is the average precipitation in N'Zerekoré.
Average precipitation NZerekoré
N'Zerekoré J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 10 45 115 160 175 200 225 300 325 190 75 25 1840
Days 1 4 9 12 14 15 16 21 21 17 7 2 139

Winter in Guinea, from December to February, is hot, dry and sunny, with the prevalence of the north-east wind, called Harmattan, that can carry the dust of the desert. Nights are usually cool, especially in the interior, while during the day the temperatures are high, around 32/34 °C, but with peaks of 40 °C. In February, early showers occur in the south, while in the north-central the heat becomes even more intense.
The capital Conakry, lying on the coast, experiences little variation in temperatures throughout the year: in winter, the daytime temperatures are around 30/32 °C, while in the rainy season they go down to 27/29 °C, although the high humidity makes the heat definitely muggy. Here are the average temperatures.
Conakry average temperatures
Conakry J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°C) 22 22 23 24 24 23 23 23 23 23 24 23
Max (°C) 30 30 31 32 31 30 28 28 29 30 30 30

Conakry is the rainiest city of Guinea: the majority of the 4 metres of rain that fall in a year, occurs from June to mid-October, in particular the rains are torrential in July and August, when it rains almost every day and the sky is almost always overcast. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Conakry
Conakry J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (mm) 1 1 3 20 135 380 1135 1110 620 295 70 8 3775
Days 0 0 1 2 10 19 27 27 22 17 6 1 132

Fouta Djalon

The sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, as you can see in the following table.
Sea temperature Conakry
Conakry J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°C) 27 26 26 27 28 28 28 27 27 28 29 28

When to go

The best time to visit Guinea is winter, particularly in December and January. The weather is good, although it can get hot during the day, especially in inland areas and at lower altitudes, and it can be cool at night, especially in the mountains.
Before the arrival of the monsoon, from March to May, it's very hot in the inland regions, especially in the north, while on the coast the temperature is more stable. On the contrary, in the south the rains begin.
For a beach holiday, the best period runs from December to April, being the dry season.

What to pack

In winter: in Conakry and the coast, light clothes for the day, a light sweatshirt for the evening, scarf for the wind-borne sand and dust. In inland areas, it may be useful to bring a sweatshirt and a jacket for the evening.
In summer: light clothing of natural fibres, umbrella, a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat for the long and heavy downpours. In inland areas and mountain ranges, you can add a heavier sweatshirt for the wet and rainy days.

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Near countries:
Guinea Bissau
Ivory Coast
Sierra Leone

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