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Climate - Malindi

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

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Malindi, where it's located
In Malindi (and in the nearby village of Watamu) the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a cooler season from June to September, when the daytime temperatures are around 81/83 °F, and a hotter and humid season from November to April, when the daytime temperatures are just above 85 °F, with May and October as intermediate months. The temperature in Malindi varies little throughout the year, but the differences are sufficient to make more annoying the warmest period, and the peak is reached in April, at the onset of the rains (see below). However, the heat is tempered by sea breezes.
Here are the average temperatures.
Malindi average temperatures
Malindi J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 74 74 75 76 74 73 72 71 71 72 73 74
Max (°F) 87 88 89 88 84 82 81 81 83 85 87 87

The city is located near the Equator, so it is protected from tropical cyclones, like the rest of Kenya.

As regards rainfall, it is not particularly abundant, given that it amounts to about 40 inches per year, however, there are two rainy seasons, linked to the two annual passages of the sun at its zenith, as often happens at the Equator. The presence of the sea, however, complicates a bit the situation. The rains are abundant from April to June, in the "long rains season", and reach a peak in May, about 12 in. In some years the rains can be torrential, and cause flooding and power outages, as happened in May 2012.
From July to September there would be a dry season, but the prevailing south-east trade winds in this season generate some thunderstorms, since the winds come from the sea, from which they collect heat and humidity, especially in the first part, that is in July, when the sea is warmer.
From December to March there is another dry season, when showers are rare, especially in January and February, which are the driest months, and when it almost never rains.
In October and November there would be the second rainy season, or the "short rains season", which is more evident in other areas of Kenya, and it's not evident here, although there is some variability between the years, so in some years the rains are plentiful, as happened in October and November 2009, when there have been floods.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation Malindi
Malindi J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 0.4 0.7 1.4 6.4 11.7 6.1 3.6 2.5 1.9 2.7 3.0 1.4 41.7
Days 2 2 3 11 17 12 12 9 7 6 6 3 90

The amount of sunshine is good all year round, except in the season of the long rains, which as the name suggests, tend to last longer, compared with the showers and thunderstorms that may occur during the period of the "short rains" or in the rest of the year. Therefore, the sunniest period goes from August to March, when there are about nine hours of sun per day.


For swimming, the sea is warm all year round, as the temperature never goes below the 77 °F of August, as can be seen in the following table.
Here are the average sea temperatures.
Sea temperature Malindi
Malindi J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 82 82 84 84 82 81 79 77 79 79 82 82

When to go

The best months to travel to Malindi are August and September, being the driest among those of the cool season. In this period the temperature is pleasant, even though there's a lively breeze, which can make the sea a bit rough. From December to March it's sunny and the rains are rare, but the heat is felt; in return, the sea is calmer.
The worst time is that of the long rains, from April to June; as a precaution, also the months of October and November can be avoided, because in some years they can be very rainy.

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