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Seasons and Climatic zones of Ethiopia

Meskel flower

Daisies which grow in tseday season

According to BBC weather, large parts of Ethiopia lie between 1,800m/6,000 ft and 2,400m/8000 ft and the highest mountain rises to over 4,600m/15,000 ft. There are lowland regions in the eastern part of Ethiopia. It also states that, night-time temperature may fall to near or below freezing in the mountains, particularly during the dry season. Occasionally snow falls on the highest peaks, but there are no permanent snowfields.


Eoearth.com states that Ethiopia has a tropical monsoon climate with wide topographic-induced variations. Three climatic zones can be distinguished: a cool zone consisting of the central parts of the western and eastern section of the high plateaus, a temprate zone below 1,500m 2,400m ASL, and the hot lowlands below 1,500m. Mean annual temperature varies from less than 7-12°c in the cool zone to over 25°c in the hot lowlands.

Nationally well known representation of climatic zones in Ethiopia

Bereha - this is a dry area at an altitude below 500m ASL.  An example to this climatic zone is dalol.


Kolla - this climatic zone has warm temperature, it falls between 500m and 1500m ASL. This climatic zone can be represented by open acacia woodland and acacia savannah.


Weyna Dega - this place has moderate temperature. This climatic region is typical for large parts of Ethiopia. It falls at an elevation between 1,500m and 2,500m ASL. Dense forests of Ethiopia are found in this climatic zone.


Dega - cool climatic zone at an altitude between 2,600m ASL and above extending to the mountain peak at Ras Dashen(4,533m ASL). As part of this climatic zone, Wirch is also a climatic zone which is at an altitude midway in the Dega climatic zone altitude range.

Seasons in Ethiopia, classified into four major seasons.

Tseday in Amharic or Spring - is the season when Ethiopian New Year is observed on September 11. This season spans from September up to November. Two major holidays, finding of the true cross or Meskel and Timket or Epiphany are celebrated in this same season. This season is also customary for heavy agricultural activity-harvesting field crops, threshing and cleaning.


Bega in Amharic or winter - This season from December up to February. In this season, mostly there will be sunny days and temperature could drop very low early in the morning.


The short (belg) rains occur from February to May. This season experiences slight rain randomly and also high temperature in May.


The big (meher) rains, aka Kiremt in Amharic or Summer -  from mid-June to mid-September there will be heavy rain and mostly cloudy.

References:
Philip Briggs, Ethiopia, The Bradt Travel Guide, Fifth Edition
http://www.ethiopiantreasures.co.uk/pages/climate.htm
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Water_profile_of_Ethiopia#gen0
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/country_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT000200

 
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