Due to Tunisia’s great geographical diversity the regions vary greatly in terms of climate, though the whole country is known for hot weather. The south of the country is mainly desert and its climate is accordingly arid with dramatic changes in temperature from day to night. Coastal regions are more temperate, enjoying a Mediterranean climate of long, hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
The coast line of northern and eastern Tunisia is considered the most desirable part of Tunisia to visit due to its relatively temperate climate. While the height of the summer sees average temperatures up in the 30s, coastal Tunisia receives refreshing breezes from the sea and usually cools off in the evenings. The summer on Tunisia’s coast is at little risk of rain and is bathed in sunshine for over twelve hours a day. Winter in these regions can get very cool, sometimes dipping below zero at night time. The Mediterranean regions receive wet weather between October and January, though rainfall is usually restricted to a few days with heavy showers rather than regular light showers. February and March also see some rain but the summer months from May till August are usually completely dry.
In Tunis, Tunisia’s capital city on the north coast, summer days see average highs of 33°C and average lows of 21°C.
The Atlas Mountains create a vast rain shadow by blocking rain-bearing winds from the north. As a result, regions south of the Atlas Mountains are incredibly hot and dry. The mountains are the main reason for the formation of the Sahara.
The central and western regions of Tunisia consist of mountain and plateau. The flat plains are hot and dry and become increasingly so approaching the Sahara. Nighttimes cool off considerably. Strong winds buffet the region throughout the year.
Tozeur, just northwest of Chott el-Jerid, is an oasis city. It’s southerly location close to the Sahara means it experiences hot and arid weather conditions. In the summer the average high temperature sits at a scorching 39°C, plummeting at night to a still hot average low of 25°C. In winter Tozeur sees average highs of 17°C and lows of 7°C. Rainfall is minimal: September, the wettest month sees an average of 13mm of rain.
The south of Tunisia is mostly semi-arid, rocky desert; forty percent of the country is actually part of the Sahara . The Sahara is known to have one of the most unforgiving climates in the world. It is home to searing 50°C heat and frosty subzero lows, a ferocious northeast wind whipping up sand storms, and an annual average of 10-20mm of rainfall. It is exceedingly dry all year round with a slight increase in chance of rain falling, but only in short bursts, between December and March.
The Sahara is where the Sirocco wind originates, blowing hot, dry weather and sometimes carrying sand into the surrounding areas across northern Africa and southern Europe. Locally, it is known as ‘chili’. It is most common in the spring.
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