Index


Introduction



In Ivory Coast, the climate is tropical, with a dry season from December to February, and a rainy season from April to October, due to the African monsoon. Along the coast, the rains are significant also in March and November, and even in December on the westernmost part (see San Pédro, Tabou).
The rainfall is more abundant on the coast, where it goes from 1,500 to 2,500 millimetres (60 to 100 inches) per year, while in inland areas it's generally less intense, and ranges from 1,200 to 1,500 mm (47 to 60 in) per year, even though it reaches 2,000 mm (80 in) in the small western mountainous area.
During winter, the weather is good and the temperatures are high throughout the country, even in December and January, so that the maximum temperatures are around 30 °C (86 °F) on the coast, and 32/34 °C (90/93 °F) in inland areas. In the latter the humidity is low, since the prevailing wind, the Harmattan, blows from the desert, raising the dust, which can veil the sky and create a characteristic mist.

Harmattan in Ivory Coast

Along the coast, the humidity is higher, and some showers may still occur in winter, especially in the western part, and in December, when the sea is a bit warmer and evaporation is higher. Sometimes, nights can be cool in the interior, where lows can drop to around 10 °C (50 °F). At other times, it can get hot during the day, with peaks of 38/40 °C (100/104 °F), even on the coast, at least when the wind from the desert arrives here.

Starting from February, the temperature begins to rise in inland areas, easily reaching 40 °C (104 °F). On the coast, the temperature is more stable, even though air humidity increases, making it feel more muggy. In April, showers become more frequent along the coast, while in the north the heat is scorching and the temperature can touch 45 °C (113 °F). Between April and May, the rains begin across the country, but they become really heavy only along the coast, where in May and June, more than 200 mm (8 in) per month fall, and often also 400 mm (16 in). Cloudiness is more frequent and compact in the south and along the coast as well, while in the north there can be also periods of good weather.
While in the north the rains reach their peak between July and September, in the center-south and along the coast in this period there is a decrease in rainfall, especially in August in the central and eastern part of the coast, then the rains resume from September to November, without reaching again the peaks of May and June. However, along the coast the sky remains cloudy even in this period.
The period from June to September is also the one with the lowest daytime temperatures, given that they descend to around 28/30 °C (82/86 °F) in inland areas and 26/28 °C (79/82 °F) on the coast; on the other hand, the humidity is high everywhere, bringing a sticky feeling to the air, although along the coast the breezes relieve the heat.
In late October and November, with the end of the rainy season, the temperatures begin to rise again in the centre and north, while the rains continue to fall on the coast.

The centre-north


Korhogo

Here are the mean temperatures of the northern city of Korhogo.
Korhogo - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)182123232221212121212018
Max (°C)343636353331292930323333
Min (°F)647073737270707070706864
Max (°F)939797959188848486909191

Here is the average precipitation in Korhogo.
Korhogo - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)5105080130140195250205952551195
Prec.(in)0.20.423.15.15.57.79.88.13.710.247
Days125911121517171131104

In the north, in winter, and in general in the dry season, the sun shines very often, while in the summer rainy season the hours of sunshine decrease a little.
Korhogo - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours998887656898

Yamoussoukro

In the capital Yamoussoukro, located in the center-south of the country, the climate is similar to that of Korhogo, however, being more to the south the rains begin a little earlier, so that already in March 115 mm (4.5 in) of rain fall, while in July and August there is a certain decrease in rainfall, with about 90 mm (3.5 in) per month. Rainfall amounts to almost 1,200 mm (47 in) per year.
Yamoussoukro - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)15501151401501651009016012550251175
Prec.(in)0.624.55.55.96.53.93.56.34.92146.3
Days2591013151112141363113

Here are the average temperatures.
Yamoussoukro - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)192222222222212122222119
Max (°C)333534343230292930313232
Min (°F)667272727272707072727066
Max (°F)919593939086848486889090

The east coast


Abidjan

In the former capital Abidjan, located in the eastern part of the coast, 1,500 mm (60 in) of rain per year fall, with a maximum in May and in June, then there's a fairly sharp decline in August and September, and a recovery in October and November.
Here is the average precipitation in Abidjan.
Abidjan - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)155512014523537513550110150110451545
Prec.(in)0.62.24.75.79.314.85.324.35.94.31.860.8
Days35911172113121214137137

Along the coast, the temperatures are more stable over the year compared with the interior, as you can see from the averages of Abidjan.
Abidjan - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232424242423222222232423
Max (°C)313232323129282728293130
Min (°F)737575757573727272737573
Max (°F)889090908884828182848886

In Abidjan, the sun shines quite often in winter and spring, while in summer the sky is often cloudy.
Abidjan - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours687764445787

Abidjan

The west coast



In the western part of the coast, the decrease in rainfall during the summer is not so noticeable.

Tabou

In Tabou, where 2,300 mm (90 in) of rain per year fall, after a peak of 380 mm (15 in) in May and 500 mm (20 in) in June, the rainfall decreases to 190 mm (7.5 in) in July and 150 mm (6 in) in August, before rebounding to 265 mm (10.4 in) in September. Here is the average precipitation.
Tabou - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)5055951403804951901502651951751352335
Prec.(in)22.23.75.51519.57.55.910.47.76.95.391.9
Days45811202116192018159166

In the western part of the coast, the amount of sunshine is not great, and is lower than in Abidjan.
Tabou - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours666753334666

The sea in Ivory Coast is warm enough for swimming all year round, although the water temperature decreases a bit from July to October.
Abidjan - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)282828292928262525262828
Temp (°F)828282848482797777798282

When to go



The best time to visit the Ivory Coast is winter, from December to February. On the coast, especially in the western part, December is still quite rainy, while in inland areas, in February it begins to get very hot, so all in all the best month for the whole country is January.
In the area of Abidjan, however, in August the rains are not abundant, even though the sky is often cloudy.

What to pack



In winter: in Abidjan and the coast, light clothes for the day, a light sweatshirt for the evening, scarf for the wind-borne dust. In the north, light clothing, a sweatshirt and a light jacket for the evening, a scarf for the desert wind.
In summer: loose fitting clothing, light shirts and pants of natural fibres (cotton, linen) or synthetics that breathe, a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat (or an umbrella) for the rain showers.

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