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Color Icon Zimbabwe:
Landuse in Dry Tropical Savannas

Climate

Climate has often been referred to as the average condition of the weather. In many respects this is a useful definition since it emphasizes the habitual as against the day variations in conditions. Climate may be regarded as the combined behaviour of certain climate elements; mainly, temperature, humidity, precipitation, air movement (wind), radiative conditions, barometric pressure, ionization. These elements, or momentary conditions, derive from more constant climatic factors, or characteristics of locality. Certain factors, such as latitude, altitude, distribution of land and water, orography (contours) and soils are fixed. Other factors, such as currents, winds, rainfall, drainage and vegetation , are dependent and intermediate between the fixed factors and the elements.



Rainfall distribution; Zimbabwe

Color Icon Rainfall in Zimbabwe decreases from the highveld, roughly in the center of the country, a belt running north east to south west, towards the south western and north eastern borders of the country. The highest falls are in the eastern highlands with annual rainfall of up to and above 1000mm. The highveld receives an annual average of above 500mm. The south eastern lowveld in which the Limpopo valley is located typically receives the lowest rainfall. Falls of below 400mm are not uncommon. In times of drought, this area is usually hard hit as it's meagre water resources are severely depleted leaving untold misery for man and beast alike. The 1991-92 drought was especially disastrous leading to big losses in both domestic livestock and wildlife.

Southern Africa's climate and rainfall patterns have been highly variable for at least the last three centuries, leading to recurrent droughts of varying severity.


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