Africa Western and Central

Climate Data Historical

Historical climate information provides significant context to understand future climate projections. Climate information can be analyzed though various levels, from temporal to spatial. In fact, temperature and precipitation both exhibit  substantial spatial and interannual variability. Therefore, the Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP) provides users the options to visualize climate data via a map and/or as an annual cycle chart. The annual/monthly temperature and precipitation data is provided by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA), and reprocessed by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). A detailed metadata can be found here.

According to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and Turn Down the Heat report:

  • A warming trend since the 1960s to the present has been observed in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Between 1961 and 2000, there was an increase in the number of warm spells over southern and western Africa.
  • There were enhanced summer monsoon precipitation in West Africa; increased short rain in East Africa due to the pattern of Indian Ocean warming; increased rainfall extremes of landfall cyclones on the east coast (including Madagascar).
  • West Africa and the tropical rainforest zone have experienced declines in mean annual precipitation while no long-term trend has been observed in southern Africa even though inter-annual variability has increased with more intense droughts and rainfall events have been reported.
  • Eastern Africa, meanwhile, has seen increasing rainfall in the northern part of the region and decreasing rainfall in the southern part.

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