Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Lesotho.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Lesotho's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications are derived from the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which divides climates into five main climate groups divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter).  Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Lesotho's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

Lesotho is a landlocked country in Southern Africa situated at latitudes 28-31° S and longitudes 27-30° E, and spanning 30,255 km2. It is wholly surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. The population of Lesotho is estimated at 2 million with an annual population growth rate of 0.08%. The country is ranked 160/187 on the Human Development index, and 57.1% of its population live below poverty line. Economic growth for the last three years averaged approximately 1.3%. A contraction was experienced in 2017/18 fiscal year on the back of a contraction in agriculture output and fiscal challenges. Growth is projected to recover modestly in the next three years boosted by an increase in construction associated with the second phase of the Lesotho Highland Water Project and diamond mining. Unemployment remains high at 24 to 28%, coupled with high inequality and poverty. 

Lesotho’s geographical characteristics and prevailing socioeconomic conditions among the majority of its rural population make it one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Current trends in the energy demand coupled with over-reliance on imported fossil fuels by majority of Basotho are patently unsustainable in many fronts – environmentally, socially and economically. Lesotho has ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution on June 22, 2018.