What type of climate does Madagascar have?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climate of Madagascar is very different on different parts of the island.  This is because of the fact that the trade winds come to Madagascar from one direction, the east.

The dominant fact about Madagascar’s climate is that it is largely determined by the direction from which the trade winds come.  The trade winds come across the Indian Ocean and are laden with moisture.  They hit Madagascar on the island’s east coast.  When they hit land, they tend to drop their moisture fairly quickly.  This means that the east coast of the island gets a great deal more rain than anywhere else on the island.

The next geographic region is the central highlands.  This area gets some rainfall, but less than the east coast.  Since it is higher in elevation, it is also cooler.

Finally, there is the west coast.  By the time that the trade winds get to the west coast, they have dumped all of their moisture on the east coast and the highlands.  Therefore, the west coast is quite dry.

Madagascar in general has two seasons.  It has a hot and rainy season from November to April and a cooler, drier season from May through October.  Temperature in Madagascar is generally quite warm, with the average daily high temperature in Antanarivo (the capital in the central highlands), varying from about 68 Fahrenheit to 78 and the average low from 50 to 61 Fahrenheit.

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