The climate is characterized by extremes in
temperature and by meager and irregular rainfall.
Annual temperature variations are small, although
diurnal variations can be extreme. The harmattan,
a hot dry wind, blows from the Sahara throughout
most of the year and is the prevailing wind,
except along the narrow coastal strip, which is
influenced by oceanic trade winds. During the
short rainy season (hivernage), from July to
September, average annual precipitation varies
from 500 to 600 millimeters in the far south to 0
to 100 millimeters in the northern two-thirds of
the country. Belts of natural vegetation,
corresponding to the rainfall pattern, extend
from east to west and range from traces of
tropical forest along the Senegal River to brush
and savanna in the southeast. Only sandy desert
is found in the center and north of the country.
NOTE: The information regarding Mauritania on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Mauritania Climate information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Mauritania Climate should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.