This page presents Benin's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit. Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.
Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.
Northern Benin has a dry season and a wet season that are controlled by the movement of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The rainy season lasts from May-November when the ITCZ is in its northern position. The dry season is from December-March when the ‘Harmattan’ winds blow in from the northeast bringing air from the Sahara Desert. Northern and central Benin receive between 200-300 mm of rainfall per month during the height of the rainy season (July-September). Southern Benin experiences two wet seasons differing in length and coinciding with the northern and southern passages of the ITCZ across the region. The longer rainy season occurs from March-July and the shorter one from September-November. Southern Benin experiences great variability in its seasonal rainfall from year to year and decade to decade.