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Kenya's climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. Kenya receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations. The "long rains" season occurs from March/April to May/June. The "short rains" season occurs from October to November/December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain. The hottest period is February and March, leading into the season of the long rains, and the coldest is in July and August.
Kenya's diverse geography means that temperature, rainfall and humidity vary widely, but there are effectively four distinct zones.
The hot, rainy plateau of western Kenya has rainfall throughout the year, the heaviest usually during April, when as much as 200mm may be recorded, and the lowest in January, with an average of 40mm. Temperatures range from a minimum of 14oC to 18oC to a maximum of 30oC to 36oC throughout the year.
The temperate Rift Valley and Central Highlands have perhaps the most agreeable climate in the country. Average temperatures vary from a minimum of 10oC to 14oC to a maximum of 22oC to 28oC. Rainfall varies from a minimum of 20mm in July to 200mm in April, falling in essentially two seasons ¨C March to the beginning of June (the 'long rains') and October to the end of November (the 'short rains'). Mt Kenya and the Aberdare Range are the country's main water catchments, with falls of up to 3000mm per year recorded in these places.
In the semiarid bushlands of northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40¡ãC during the day to less than 20oC at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month, and November the wettest. The average annual rainfall varies between 250mm and 500mm.
The consistently humid coast region has rainfall averages from 20mm in February to around 300mm in May. Rainfall is dependent on the monsoon, which blows from the northeast from October to April and from the southwest for the rest of the year. The average annual rainfall is between 1000mm and 1250mm (less in drought years). Average temperatures vary little during the year, ranging from 22oC to 30oC.