Monday, May 17, 2010

A high of 91 in January. What???

T
he plan at the moment is for me to go to Mali the last week of July. Okay, I'm doing this for work so I have no choice about the timing of my trip because if it was up to me, I would not head a country that is pretty much half desert during the summer....and no, I don't care that it's a *dry* heat....it's still h-o-t, h-o-t, h-o-t!!

Mali's climate ranges from hot, subtropical in the south to hot, semi-arid in the central region to hot, arid in the north.  It's a hot place :-)

The historic temperature range in Bamako runs from 16 to 33 °C (60.8 to 91.4 °F) in January which is the coldest month. Supposedly, April is the hottest month, with temperatures averaging 34 to 39 °C (93.2 to 102.2 °F). April in Washington DC is springtime....cool weather. April in Mali is like our August. Oh....and this is a Muslim country so I will have to be covered from head to toe. I just hope they at least have ceiling fans if there is no air conditioning.

To top it off, July/August is the rainy season and even though most of the country receives negligible amounts of rainfall, Bamako which is located in the subtropical southern part of the country, averages 1,120 millimeters (44.1 in) a year....with an average of about 220 millimeters (8.7 in) falling in the month of August. Gonna be wet....and tropical rain does not fall gently, it falls in sheets so umbrellas are pretty much useless. I'm still planning on bringing one along.

Apparently, flooding of the Niger River occurs regularly in the rainy season. I'm hoping it doesn't flood while I'm there cause most of the places I would like to visit are located along the river.  Otherwise, I will be touring a giant mud bath instead of the desert :-(

But, weather conditions don't deter me....I am an intrepid traveller :-) No matter what the weather is like, I will find a way make the best of it and enjoy my time in Mali!!