Malawi is about as large as England, and is situated in east-central Africa. It is bordered on the north by Tanzania, on the east and south by Mozambique, and on the west by Zambia. The general features of the weather and climate of Malawi are similar to those of Zambia and Zimbabwe and are described for Zambia.
Malawi is a long, narrow country extending from north to south and containing within its borders most of the large Lake Nyasa (also known as Lake Malawi). It also has a rather diverse relief with mountains rising above 3,000 m/10,000 ft and land in the lower Shire valley below 180 m/600 ft. It thus has a greater range of weather and climate than either Zambia or Zimbabwe.
Conditions in the Shire valley are typically tropical, with high temperatures around the year and a most unpleasant combination of high temperature and humidity during the rainy season. Frost is unknown here. The table for Zumbo, actually in Mozambique, is representative of conditions in these tropical lowlands. Lilongwe has a range of weather and climate throughout the year similar to that of the uplands of much of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Daytime temperatures here rarely rise to very high or uncomfortable levels and there is abundant sunshine during the dry season when occasional frosts occur.
The mountainous regions of southern Malawi, and in the north overlooking Lake Nyasa, are amongst the wettest districts in this part of Africa with an annual rainfall of between 1,500 mm/60 in and 2,000 mm/80 in. Unusually for this area the heaviest rains are delayed until March or April and some rain may fall in all months. Over most of the country an annual rainfall of between 875-1,250 mm/35-50 in is more usual.
Apart from the lowlands in the south which are unhealthy, sultry, and oppressive, the weather and climate over the rest of the country are generally healthy and pleasant. At times the weather can be surprisingly cold during the dry season, particularly above 1,500 m/5,000 ft.
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