The Gambia experiences a Sahelian climate, characterized by a long, dry season (November to May) and a short, wet season (June to October). Average temperatures in Gambia range from 18°C to 30°C during the dry season and 23°C to 33°C during the wet season. In La Niña years, temperatures tend to be cooler than average throughout the year. The long-term mean annual rainfall of 860 mm is largely determined by July, August and September rainfall, where mean monthly rainfall varies between 150 mm (in the northern extremes) and 300 mm (in the southern extremes).
- In West Africa, air temperatures have noticeably increased since the 1940's, and in the period 1970 to 2010, temperatures have risen with greater magnitude during the latter 20 years, than the former 20 years.
- In The Gambia, mean annual temperatures have increased by 1.0°C since 1960, an average rate of 0.21°C per decade. The rate of increase has been most rapid in the months of October, November and December, at 0.32°C per decade.
- Linear trends indicate that wet season (July, August and September) rainfall in The Gambia has decreased significantly between 1960 and 2006, at an average rate of 8.8 mm per month per decade.
- The length of the rainy season has also been decreasing with increasing variability in inter-annual rainfall.
- There are insufficient daily rainfall observations available from which to determine changes in extremes indices of daily rainfall.
This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.