Ethiopia lies wholly within the tropics, but its proximity to the equator is moderately influenced by the elevation of the land. As a result travelers to the country enjoy a pleasant climate.
Sunshine is virtually guaranteed. For the most part of the year, clear skies reign. The average temperature rarely exceeding 20°C (68°F). The climate over the greater part of the country is temperate.
The climate varies greatly from region to region. On the hot and humid lowland edges of western, eastern and southern Ethiopia do temperatures creep above 30°C. The Danakil Depressions in the Afar Region have a hot, dry climate producing semi-desert conditions. The sparsely populated lowlands typically have sub–tropical and tropical climates.
The climate on the northern plateau is cool, and usually the atmosphere is exceedingly clear, and objects at great distance can easily be recognized. In the central highlands such as the capital city Addis Ababa the maximum temperature is 26 °C (78.8 °F) and minimum 4 °C (39.2 °F).
Ethiopia’s weather is usually sunny and dry. In most areas, rainfall occurs in two distinct seasons: The short rain season known as “belg” occurs from February to April. The big rainy season “meher” caused by the southwest monsoon, lasts from mid-June to mid-September. It is followed by the dry hot period from October to February. The rainy season is of great importance not only to Ethiopia but to the countries of the Nile valley, as the prosperity of the eastern Sudan and Egypt is largely dependent upon the rainfall.
Despite enjoyable climate and sunshine, there are visible effects of climate change in the country, and the average temperatures have been increasing at 0.3°C per decade. Higher temperatures in this region have serious impacts on food production, and the risk of disease such as malaria. There is also a known connection between rainfall and the increased frequency of drought in Ethiopia over the last two decades.