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's between 1,500 and 2,500 millimeters (60 and 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, when the maximum temperatures are around 30 °C (86 °F) on the coast, and 32/34 °C (90/93 °F) in inland areas. In the interior 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, and it easily reaches 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 reach 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) fall per month, 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, which 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 center and north, while the rains continue to fall on the coast.

The center-north


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

Here is the average precipitation in Korhogo.
Korhogo - Average precipitation

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


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, and 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

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

The east coast


In the former capital, Abidjan, located in the eastern part of the coast, 1,500 mm (60 in) of rain fall per year, 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

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
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


The west coast

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


In Tabou, where 2,300 mm (90 in) of rain fall per year, 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

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

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
Temp (°C)282828292928262525262828
Temp (°F)828282848482797777798282

Best Time

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, bring light clothes for the day, a light sweatshirt for the evening, a 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, bring light shirts and pants of natural fibers (cotton, linen) or synthetics that breathe, a light sweatshirt and a light raincoat (or an umbrella) for the rain showers.

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