Niamey's climate varies with distinct seasons. April and May are the hottest months, with noontime temperatures often rising above 48°C (118°F) in the shade. Direct sunlight is intense during this period, and at night temperatures remain above 20°C (80°F). In May, the first rains come to the usually parched landscape and with them the planting of millet and sorghum, the major food crops. Niamey gets on average 55.8 centimeters (22 inches) of rainfall between June and September, normally in short torrential downpours preceded by high winds and dust or sand storms. At this time, the surrounding countryside takes on a verdant hue as the crops and the native grasses begin to grow. The rainy season is followed by a short period of hot, humid weather in October during which temperatures range between 15°C (60°F) and 45°C (112°F).
From November to March, the weather is dry and pleasant. During this season, clear days are interspersed with hazy, overcast skies caused by the "harmattan"--a hot, dry wind carrying dust from the Sahara. Normally, the winds stay at high altitudes, creating slightly overcast skies; the harmattan, however, occasionally causes localized dust storms.
predominately desert plains and sand dunes; flat to rolling plains in south; hills in north
uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, petroleum
284 Square Miles
737 Square Kilometers
overgrazing; soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; wildlife populations (such as elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, and lion) threatened because of poaching and habitat destruction
Environment - International Agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea