Climate of Nigeria

Rainy Season

The Nigerian climate produces an extensive rainy season across the country, with rains beginning in the southern, coastal areas of the country in late February to early March and traveling north, reaching most areas by early summer, with rain lasting through September. While the northern part of the country typically sees the highest rainfall during August, the coastal areas see the most precipitation in May, June and October.

Dry Season

Northern Nigeria has a dry season lasting from October to April, with high temperatures and low humidity. The coastal regions see a shorted dry season from December to February, being closer to the damp ocean winds. A second, little dry season occurs in the southern region between July and September, notes the BBC Weather Centre website. The break in rainfall during late summer rarely results in a complete dry season but gives farmers a brief period -- especially in the country's southwest region -- in which to harvest their crops.

Harmattan Winds

The harmattan winds, trade winds from the northeast accompanied by a fine dust of sand from the Sahara, permeate the country during the dry season of December through February. The winds are most prevalent in the country's north and nearly undetectable on the southwestern coast most years. The harmattan winds bring higher temperatures, low humidity and a coating of fine, sandy particles as they travel across the country.


The temperature in Nigeria typically is higher during the dry season, with no precipitation to cool the afternoon heat. The port city of Lagos sees average temperatures between 73 and 88 degrees F during January, with a more moderate range of 73 to 82 in June, notes the Country Studies website. During the dry season, temperatures in the northern areas of the country have reached 110 degrees at the hottest times and dropped to 42 degrees during the cooler rainy period.