The Harmattan is a dry and dusty West African trade wind. It blows south from Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter).cite encyclopedia |year= 2007|title =Harmattan |encyclopedia=Encyclopædia Britannica |publisher= Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc|location=Chicago |id= ]

On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles (between 0.5 and 10 micrometres). When the Harmattan blows hard, it can push dust and sand all the way to North America.


In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, [cite web |url= http://www.temoust.org/spip.php?article3206|title=Tuareg unrest |date=2007-09-07|accessdate=2007-10-08 |work=BBC, via Temoust ] comparable to a heavy fog. The effect caused by the dust and sand stirred by these winds is known as the Harmattan haze, and costs airlines millions of dollars in cancelled and diverted flights each year.Fact|date=October 2007 The interaction of the Harmattan with monsoon winds can cause tornadoes.

In Niger, people say that men and animals become increasingly irritable when this wind has been blowing for a while, giving it a bad reputation.Who|date=October 2007 However, the cool wind brings relief from the oppressive heat, which is why the Harmattan has earned the nickname "The Doctor".Fact|date=October 2007

ee also

*Prevailing winds


*cite book |last=Ikekeonwu |first=Clara |title=The phonetics of Nigerian languages |year=2007 |publisher=Lincom Europa |location=Munich |isbn= |pages=62

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  • harmattan — [ armatɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1765; mot d une langue africaine ♦ Géogr. Alizé continental qui souffle de l est sur le Sahara et l Afrique occidentale. « L harmattan soufflait. Le vent chaud avait séché le ciel et la terre » (Le Clézio). ● harmattan nom… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Harmattan — (Липари,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Località Monte Rosa, 98055 Липари, Италия …   Каталог отелей

  • Harmattan — Har*mat tan (h[aum]r*m[a^]t tan), n. [F. harmattan, prob. of Arabic origin.] A dry, hot wind, prevailing on the Atlantic coast of Africa, in December, January, and February, blowing from the interior or Sahara. It is usually accompanied by a haze …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Harmattan — Harmattan, heißer Wind auf der Westküste von Afrika, weht periodisch 7–8 Tage lang …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Harmattan — (Dunstzeit), ein trockner, Staub bringender Nord bis Ostwind an der Küste von Oberguinea, dessen Ursprung man früher in der Sahara suchte. Auf Grund neuerer Beobachtungen fand aber v. Danckelmann, daß der Staub nicht immer aus der Sahara zu… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Harmattan — Harmattan, äußerst trockner, staubführender Wind Nordwestafrikas, der aus dem Innern nach der atlant. Küste hauptsächlich vom Dezember bis Februar weht …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Harmattan — Harmattan, ein aus dem Innern Afrikas nach Norden wehender periodischer Wind von außerordentl. Trockenheit …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • harmattan — [här΄mə tan′] n. [Sp harmatán < the native (Twi) name in W Africa] a dry, dusty wind that blows from the Sahara in N Africa toward the Atlantic, esp. from Nov. to March …   English World dictionary

  • Harmattan — Bruma de Harmattan rodeando la Mezquita Nacional de Abuya en Abuya, Nigeria. El Harmattan es un viento alisio de África Occidental frío, seco y polvoriento. Sopla al sur del Sáhara hacia el golfo de Guinea entre el fin de noviembre y mitad de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Harmattan — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Harmattan (homonymie). Harmattan sur l île de Boa Vista au Cap Vert L harmattan est un vent (alizé) chaud …   Wikipédia en Français

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