Climate of Malawi

Malawi has a tropical climate which is moderated across much of the country by altitude. Much of the country is at an altitude which keeps potentially high temperatures down to very acceptable levels. Only in the Lower Shire Valley can temperatures become unpleasantly high and then only in the summer months.

Temperatures vary from below freezing (at night on the high plateaux in winter – July) to 38°C/100°F (in the Lower Shire Valley in summer – December). To generalise is difficult but through much of the year and in regions visited by travellers, temperatures during the day are usually in the mid-20sC/mid-70sF. In the short hot season, November-December, maximum temperatures may rise to the lower 30sC/upper 80sF. Lake Malawi’s surface temperatures vary from about 24°C/75°F to 28°C/82°F.

Rainfall varies greatly. Some years in the early 1990s were exceptionally dry. Really high figures are rare. Parts of the Lakeshore can receive 50 to 60 inches (1270 to 1525 mm) a year but Lilongwe’s and Blantyre’s figures are less than half that. Much of the rain falls in short but heavy bursts.

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