This small country was formerly known as French Somaliland and later as the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.
It is at the entrance to the Red Sea, with a coastline on the southern shores of the Gulf of Aden. It is about as big as Wales or the state of Vermont. It is bordered by Ethiopia on the west and south, by Somalia on the southeast, and by Eritrea on the northwest.
There is a low-lying coastal plain which is very hot all the year round but has lower temperatures at the period of low sun (see the table for Djibouti).
Inland there are extensive areas above 600 m/2,000 ft, where temperatures and humidity are a little lower than on the coast. Annual rainfall is almost everywhere below 500 mm/20 in and is much less in many places.
The scanty rainfall on the coast is more likely to come in the period November to March, but inland the rains are more probable during the period of high sun from April to October. Hours of sunshine average from eight to nine hours a day around the year.
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