Libya is a large country in North Africa. It is bordered by Tunisia and Algeria on the west, Niger and Chad on the south, Sudan on the southeast, and Egypt on the east. Libya has a long coastline on the Mediterranean but the greater part consists of the central Sahara Desert. The Mediterranean coastal fringes have a Mediterranean climate with some rain between October and March, but the vast area of desert inland has very little rain at all and here some of the highest temperatures in the world have been recorded.
The general climatic and weather conditions over Libya are similar to those described for coastal and interior Egypt and Algeria. The climatic tables for Tripoli in western Libya (former province of Tripolitania) and Benghazi in eastern Libya (ancient Cyrenaica) are representative of conditions around the year in the coastal regions. The scanty winter rainfall is brought by Mediterranean depressions, but the amounts are rather variable from year to year. Along the coast of the Gulf of Sirte, between Misratah and Benghazi, rainfall is rather less, so that the desert reaches the coast. The wettest area of the country is in the hill and plateau region of the Al Jabal al Akhdar (the Green Mountain) between Benghazi and Darnah, where the land rises to over 500 m/1,600 ft and rainfall is as much as 600 mm/24 in per year.
Beyond a distance of 160 km/100 mi or less from the coast, annual rainfall drops below 100 mm/4 in and is often very much less. Indeed, over much of the Sahara, rainfall is so slight and irregular as to make any average figure almost meaningless.
As elsewhere on the coasts of the southern Mediterranean, winter weather can be changeable from day to day with cool, cloudy, rainy spells interrupting the generally warm, sunny, and settled weather. Inland, in the desert, conditions are almost uniformly settled and sunny with very high temperatures in summer and warm days in winter. The climate here is similar to that shown by the tables for Aswan in Egypt or Biskra and In Salah in Algeria.
The coastal districts of Libya are affected from March to June by very hot, dusty winds from the desert which bring very high temperatures, often exceeding 50°C/122°F for a day or two. They are similar in origin to the khamsin winds of Egypt. They go under the local name of ghibli.
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