In Sudan, the climate is desert in the north and on the coast of the Red Sea, while it's semi-desert or semi-arid in the south, which is affected by the summer monsoon.


Red Sea coast

On the coast of the Red Sea, winter is warm, with highs around 27/28 °C (81/82 °F), while summer is stifling, with a combination of heat and humidity that is hard to bear. The rains, poor, occur mostly between October and January, in fact, in autumn and winter, the prevailing north-east currents deposit a bit of moisture as precipitation on the coast after passing over the sea.

Port Sudan

In Port Sudan, only 110 millimeters (4.3 inches) of rain fall per year, with a maximum of 50 mm (2 in) in November, while in Suakin, more to the south, rainfall reaches 120 mm (4.7 in) per year, so we are still at desert levels, although along the coast, an intense downpour or thunderstorm can sometimes occur, which can unload an entire month's rainfall in a few hours. Here is the average precipitation in Port Sudan.
Port Sudan - Average precipitation

Here are the average temperatures of Port Sudan.
Port Sudan - Average temperatures
Min (°C)191920222426292927252421
Max (°C)272729323538414038343128
Min (°F)666668727579848481777570
Max (°F)8181849095100106104100938882

In Port Sudan, the sun often shines all year round; however, some cloudiness can be formed both in winter and in summer. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Port Sudan - Sunshine

The sea is warm all year round, and in summer, when it exceeds 30 °C (86 °F), it becomes one of the warmest seas in the world.
Port Sudan - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)262626272930313131313028
Temp (°F)797979818486888888888682

So the coast can be considered a world apart, both because of the higher humidity and because of the rainfall pattern.
On the contrary, the interior of Sudan is desert in the north, and progressively rainier as you move southward, where the rains occur in the summer season.

Ancient pyramids in Meroe

The north

In the north, occupied by a portion of the Saharan desert (whose part located to the east of the Nile is called Nubian Desert, while the western part is called Libyan Desert), the climate is desert, and in particular, the northernmost area, near the border with Egypt, is one of the driest and sunniest in the world. The Nubian desert is particularly desolate, devoid of oasis and therefore of settlements, of course, apart from the banks of the Nile, where the remains of the ancient Egyptian and Nubian civilizations are found, as well as more recent settlements. In winter, temperatures are pleasantly warm during the day and cool at night, even cold at times, especially in the far north, where it can occasionally drop to around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F). The rest of the year is definitely hot, with highs around 40 °C (104 °F) from May to September, but with records of 50/52 °C (122/126 °F). Wind can raise sandstorms at any time of the year.

Wadi Halfa

Here are the average temperatures of Wadi Halfa, located in the far north, on the shores of Lake Nasser.
Wadi Halfa - Average temperatures
Min (°C)111316212426272827231813
Max (°C)242631374041424240363025
Min (°F)525561707579818281736455
Max (°F)75798899104106108108104978677

In the north, the sun shines all year round, as we can see in the following table.
Wadi Halfa - Sunshine

Already at the latitude of the Bayuda Desert, in the "S" described by the course of the Nile, during summer, there is a slight increase in humidity, a decrease in temperature, and a few rare downpours in July and August, brought by the last offshoots of the summer monsoon.

The center


A few hundred kilometers (or miles) to the south, and at the center of the country, we find Khartoum (Al Khurtum), the capital, located at 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level, where the White Nile and the Blue Nile river meet. With an annual average temperature of 30 °C (86 °F), Khartoum is one of the hottest capitals in the world. Even winter is hot, with highs around 31 °C (88 °F) in January, but it can sometimes get cold at night, in fact, the cold record is only 1 °C (34 °F); in spring, the temperatures increase rapidly, and they reach 40 °C (104 °F) already in April; in April and May, the temperature have sometimes reached as high as 47 °C (117 °F).
Here are the average temperatures.
Khartoum - Average temperatures
Min (°C)161720242728262626262117
Max (°C)313337404241393839393532
Min (°F)616368758182797979797063
Max (°F)8891991041081061021001021029590

In July and August, under the influence of the monsoon, which brings a bit of rain, the temperature decreases slightly, but it remains very high, around 38/39 °C (100/102 °F), and then, between October and November, at the end of the monsoon, it increases slightly again, to 39/40 °C (102/104 °F). Annual precipitation in the capital is very low, and amounts to 150 mm (6 in), with a maximum of 70 mm (2.8 in) in August. Here is the average precipitation.
Khartoum - Average precipitation

In Khartoum, the sun shines all year round, but in summer, the hours of sunshine diminish a bit.
Khartoum - Sunshine

In May or June, when the front of moist air from the south invades the central part of Sudan, it can give rise to a phenomenon called Haboob, a sand storm that advances like a wall, and then reduces visibility to zero.

Haboob in Khartoum

In the Western Darfur region lies Jebel Marra, a mountain range with volcanic craters occupied by lakes, such as Deriba Caldera, about 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) high. Here, the climate is temperate because of altitude, and since the rains are more abundant, i.e. at the level of the southernmost areas, the landscape is greener than in the surrounding areas.

The south

Continuing south, annual rainfall increases gradually, reaching 700 mm (27.5 in) in the southernmost part. Almost all of Sudan is practically arid or semi-arid; the greenest area, geographically and culturally different, has been separated in 2011, and gave birth to South Sudan. Anyway, in the southernmost part, eg in the Nuba Mountains, the rainy season is quite long (from May to October, peaking from June to September) and intense, so much so that there is a savannah-type environment. The climate in the Nuba Mountains, but also in the south-east, in the Dinder National Park, despite the altitude of around 500 meters (1,600 feet), is hot even in winter, with highs around 35 °C (95 °F), while in spring, the temperature rises to around 40 °C (104 °F) and more; the summer is muggy and rainy, while autumn becomes torrid (that is, very hot and dry) again.


Here are the average temperatures of Nyala, in South Darfur, at 650 meters (2,100 ft) above sea level.
Nyala - Average temperatures
Min (°C)151720222323222121211916
Max (°C)313336383836323133353331
Min (°F)596368727373727070706661
Max (°F)88919710010097908891959188

In Nyala, 430 mm (17 in) of rain fall per year, with a maximum of more than 100 mm (4 in) in July and August. Here is the average precipitation.
Nyala - Average precipitation

In Nyala, clouds are a little more frequent than in Khartoum, especially in summer, and in July and August, there are 7 hours of sunshine a day.
Nyala - Sunshine

Best Time

The best time to travel to Sudan is winter, and in particular, the months of December and January. There is sunny weather everywhere, except on the the Red Sea coast, where there can be a bit of cloudiness and some showers; in the south and the east, it's hot during the day, but generally cool at night, while in the north, it can get cold at night. By February, the temperature begins to rise across the country, and in the south, where it was already intense, it becomes scorching.

What to pack

In winter: bring light-colored clothing, light and long shirts and pants of natural fibers (cotton, linen), especially in the south, where it is hot even in winter; turban for the desert and the wind from the desert, sunglasses (even graduated instead of contact lenses), a jacket and a sweater for the evening, and desert boots or sandals. For the Red Sea coast, light clothing, a sweatshirt for the evening, and a raincoat or umbrella. When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.

In summer: for the inland areas, bring lightweight clothes, long and made of natural fabric (cotton or linen), a desert turban; possibly a sweater and a sleeping bag for outdoor overnight stays. For the south, light clothes, a light raincoat or umbrella for the rains, a light sweatshirt. For the Red Sea coast, lightweight clothes. When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes. It's better for women to avoid shorts and miniskirts.

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