Malawi has a sub-tropical climate, which is relatively dry and strongly seasonal. The warm-wet season stretches from November to April, during which 95% of the annual precipitation takes place. Annual average rainfall varies from 725mm to 2,500mm with Lilongwe having an average of 900mm, Blantyre 1,127mm, Mzuzu 1,289mm and Zomba 1,433mm. Extreme conditions include the drought that occurred in 1991/92 season and floods of 1988/89 season. The low-lying areas such as Lower Shire Valley and some localities in Salima and Karonga are more vulnerable to floods than higher grounds.

A cool, dry winter season is evident from May to August with mean temperatures varying between 17 and 27 degrees Celsius, with temperatures falling between 4 and 10 degrees Celsius. In addition, frost may occur in isolated areas in June and July. A hot, dry season lasts from September to October with average temperatures varying between 25 and 37 degrees Celsius. Humidity ranges from 50% to 87% for the drier months of September/October and wetter months of January/February respectively.