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 Malawi.

Climate Data Historical

Malawi’s climate is as varied as the country’s topography. The vast surface water of Lake Niassa tends to have a cooling effect on the margins of the lake, where long, hot seasons with high humidity occur, along with mean annual temperatures of 24°C. Rainfall patterns are heaviest along the coast of Lake Malawi where precipitation is heaviest (averaging 1600 mm annually); the rest of the country’s rainfall ranges between 750 and 1000 mm annually. Overall, the country experiences three seasons: a cool season (May to mid-August), a hot season (mid-August to November), and a rainy season (November to April), with rains continuing longer in the northern and eastern mountains. 


  • Mean annual temperature has increased by 0.9°C between 1960 and 2006, an average rate of 0.21°C per decade. This increase in temperature has been most rapid in the rainy summer (December to February) and lowest in the hottest season (September to November).
  • The average number of ‘hot’ days per year in Malawi has increased by 30 between 1960 and 2003. 
  • The average number of ‘cold’ days per year has decreased by 16 between 1960 and 2003. 


  • As year‐to‐year variability in rainfall is very high in Malawi, long-term trends are difficult to identify.
  • In 2006, wet‐season (December to February) rainfall over Malawi was markedly low, possibly causing a decreasing trend in December to February rainfall; however, evidence does not reveal consistent decreases.

This section provides the options to visualize historical climate data for different timeframes via map and annual cycle chart.


Click on map to change chart data from country aggregated to site-specific data.