Climate of Chad

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Amazingly enough, Chad is relatively comfortable for a fair bit of the year. Oh yes, we missionaries love to tell great tales of the heat, but really when you figure it all out, it's not too bad. You don't want to be around from March to May, but aside from that, we do OK.

Here's the scoop: "winter" in Chad (or "cold season" as we call it) means it gets down into the 60's at night and the Chadians are all bundled up in Salvation Army ski jackets, stocking caps and scarves - no joke! It corresponds with winter in the USA, albeit a bit shorter - December and January mainly. Up in the Sahara desert, temperatures fall below freezing at night (since there's no moisture or trees to hold in the heat ).  If you're going to visit Chad, this is the ideal time to do so (assuming you wont be sleeping in the desert).

Likewise, if you define "summer" as the growing season, it corresponds more or less to summer in North America. The main difference is why it is summer. In N. America, it's  warm enough to grow things; in Chad it's wet enough to grow things. It only rains for about 3 months - July, August, and September - but during those three months as much rain falls on southern Chad as upon Chicago during an entire year (about 3 feet). The entire country grinds to a standstill during these months as the country's network of dirt roads become a vast quagmire, swallowing even semi trucks whole.

Then, there's the "hot season" which you can associate with "spring" - six to eight weeks of temperatures of 110 degrees (and often over 115 in the capital) every day from mid-March to May. At the outset, it's survivable as the humidity is low (see chart). 'Round about the end of April, though, the humidity starts to rise in anticipation of the rainy season, and even with a slight drop in temperature, the misery ... well, let's just say it's an ideal time to take a vacation.   

 

 
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Last modified: May 17, 2011