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West African dry weather season / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Harmattan is a season in West Africa that occurs between the end of November and the middle of March. It is characterized by the dry and dusty northeasterly trade wind, of the same name, which blows from the Sahara over West Africa into the Gulf of Guinea.[1] The name is related to the word haramata in the Twi language.[2] The temperature is cold mostly at night in some places, but can be very hot in certain places during daytime, all can also depend on local circumstances.[3]

Harmattan haze surrounding Abuja National Mosque in Abuja

The Harmattan blows during the dry season, which occurs during the months with the lowest sun. In this season the subtropical ridge of high pressure stays over the central Sahara and the low-pressure Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) stays over the Gulf of Guinea. On its passage over the Sahara, the Harmattan picks fine dust and sand particles (between 0.5 and 10 microns). It is also known as the "doctor wind", because of its invigorating dryness compared with humid tropical air.

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