The harmattan announces its presence

Dew points of about 25C/80F is what we’re currently coping with. My friends up north have cause to shut me up ‘cos it is more severe with them. The campus is very dry and empty as students have not officially reported.

Life is surely not normal: Waking up early could be very challenging as the cold seem to pierce your sleeping clothing; thinking about your walk down the dry and deserted roads to work could be discouraging; the thought of absence of food during break times is certainly frustrating; the dusty and dry conditions make breathing a herculean task.

Thank God it is bearable and not beyond our ability. A positive spirit and a diligent heart is a good tool in moments like this. Seeing this wonderful aspect of nature is a secret to sailing on a positive wing. We are facing it !!!

Prof chen, a visiting lecturer from Canada had this for his blog reader:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008
(In Author: Stephen, Medical, Travel, Weather) Suddenly, the steamy tropical weather has turned dry and temperate. It has been (on and off) getting drier and cooler since the beginning of December (and our local friends say that the harmattan is a few weeks late this year), but it has finally turned dry, dusty, and quite cool. Terri and I actually have to worry about staying warm!

A few days ago when it was starting cool down, I checked the on-line weather report — the dew point had dropped to around 15C/60F. I remember in Pittsburgh, a dew point of 60F meant misery, and I wondered how people in the deep south could tolerate dew points in the 70’s. Well, the dew point here is often around 25C/80F. Since the night time temperature can’t drop below the dew point (at which point you get fog), it explains why we were suffering at night.

Now, you have to be careful. The dry air can still heat up quite a bit in the day, so it can take a long time to cool off in the evening. If you leave the windows too far open at night, it can be down right cold in the morning. Time for long pants again!

One last thing to note, the air is so dusty that it can cause breathing problems. As far south as we are, its not that bad, but we’ve been told that it can be truly unbearable further north. Unfortunately, that’s why we probably won’t make it up to see the elephants in Mole Park.


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