The climate of Mali is split into distinct wet and dry seasons and varies considerably from north to south with arid desert conditions in the north (part of the Sahara) and wetter conditions in the south of the country. In the more populated southern part of the country, savannah with tall grasses is common, giving way to Sahel then Sahara.
Winters months are dry and perfect for travel. Summers are rainy. Rains arrive first, and in greater amounts, in the south, and later in much smaller amounts in the north. However, rainfall is not very dependable. When it does rain, it often comes in torrential downpours. During the dry winter season, days are generally in the mid-70s F. At night it can get extremely cold. During the April to June dry season, daytime temperatures become much hotter, often surpassing 90°F, as hot, dry winds blow from the northeast. These winds are known as the harmattan. They are followed by the wet season, when daytime temperatures become slightly cooler, usually in the mid-80s F.
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