The information below contains geography information for Somalia, including climate, weather,
cities, and area information. You can also check out the
Somalia Country Page for additional
Area: 637,657 sq. km.; slightly smaller than Texas.
Cities: Capital--Mogadishu. Other cities--Hargeisa, Kismayo, Bosasso, Baidoa.
Terrain: Mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in the north.
Climate: Principally desert; December to February--northeast monsoon, moderate temperatures in north, and very hot in the south; May to October--southwest monsoon, torrid in the north, and hot in the south; irregular rainfall; hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons.
Geography of Somalia
Somalia is located on the east coast of Africa on and north of the Equator and, with Ethiopia and Djibouti, is often referred to as the Horn of Africa. It comprises Italy's former Trust Territory of Somalia and the former British Protectorate of Somaliland (now seeking recognition as an independent state). The coastline extends 2,720 kilometers (1,700 mi.).
The northern part of the country is hilly, and in many places the altitude ranges between 900 and 2,100 meters (3,000 ft.-7,000 ft.) above sea level. The central and southern areas are flat, with an average altitude of less than 180 meters (600 ft.). The Juba and the Shebelle Rivers rise in Ethiopia and flow south across the country toward the Indian Ocean. The Shebelle, however, does not reach the sea.
Major climatic factors are a year-round hot climate, seasonal monsoon winds, and irregular rainfall with recurring droughts. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 30oC to 40oC (85o F-105oF), except at higher elevations and along the east coast. Mean daily minimums usually vary from about 15oC to 30oC (60oF-85oF). The southwest monsoon, a sea breeze, makes the period from about May to October the mildest season at Mogadishu. The December-February period of the northeast monsoon also is relatively mild, although prevailing climatic conditions in Mogadishu are rarely pleasant. The "tangambili" periods that intervene between the two monsoons (October-November and March-May) are hot and humid.