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Climate

Cape Verde climate

The climate of the Cape Verde archipelago is arid and semiarid, as it is strongly influenced by the trade winds that blow from the northeast. Although it is arid there is a constant breeze, which decreases at the end of the day and makes the tropical temperatures more pleasant. The temperature ranges between 78°C and 32% and the average air temperatures are between 24°C and 29°C.
The Harmattan, or lestada, blows from the East-Northeast between December and February sometimes making the atmosphere less clear as it transports a line white dust (brumo seca) from the Sahel.
The scarce rains that fall on Cape Verde come from the tropical mane soon, which blows occasionally from the South between July and Octorber watering the dry islands and blessing the seeds that the inhabitants of the agricultural islands have shown around this period. The people of the islands enjoy the rains as a liberating magic in the lace of frequent droughts in their history which have often had dramatic consequences.
The great writer Manuel Lopes, born on the island of S. Nicolao left a stark testimony to the drama experienced by the inhabitants of his island in the most difficult periods of lestada in his novel, which has since been made into a film, Os Flagelados do Vento Leste (Beaten by the East Wind).
Gabriel Mariano, who wrote some of the ”mornas’” that are most representative of life in Cape Verde, used a sharp phrase to express the other dramatic face of the drought, the floods; ..  “si ca tem tchuva, marre di sede... sr tchuva vem, morre fogada .. " (.. if there is no rain, you die of thirst if the rain carries on, you drown...). Indeed the torrential rains from the monsoons in the months mentioned above, between July and October as a result of the confluence of the trade winds, which blow in opposite directions, moving south, the dried out land is flooded with water often causing floods that sweep the hillsides and valleys, dragging earth and loose stones, and can destroy crops or even buildings near the stream banks.

The Islands of the Cape Verde archipelago are made up of two groups: the islands of Barlavento (from where the wind blows) and the islands of Sotavento (from where the wind blows away). Their names reflect the position of the islands relative to the dominant winds (trade winds) that blow from the northeast.
Islands of Barlavento (Santo Antao, S. Vicente, Santa Luzia, S. Niculau, Sal and Boavista), are further north, and the islands of Sotavento (Majo, Santiago, Fogo and Brava), are further south. The 10 islands of Cape Verde are also complemented by 16 islets, the names of Boavista islets are: ilheu de Sal Rei, Currl Velho and Baluarte.


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