Including a description of the weather and climate of Suriname and French Guiana.
Guyana - a former British colony - is situated on the Atlantic coast of South America between 1° and 8°N. It is bordered by Venezuela on the west, by Brazil on the south, and by Suriname on the east.
The weather and climate of Guyana are similar to those of the neighbouring countries of Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana) and French Guiana to the east. All these countries have coastlines on the Atlantic, open for most of the year to the influence of the moist northeast trade winds.
Inland the country rises, towards the Venezuelan and Brazilian borders, to a plateau which is surmounted by isolated hills. Twice a year the whole area comes under the influence of the intertropical belt of cloud and rain which meteorologists call the intertropical convergence.
The lowlands have a typical hot, wet, equatorial type of climate with constant, high humidity. This area is often very sultry and oppressive as well as having a very monotonous weather regime, for there is little change from day to day. Wet days alternate almost equally with dry days. The nights are particularly oppressive but during the day the regular sea breeze brings some relief on the coast.
Temperatures never rise to very high levels and so are not dangerous; but the heat and humidity are enervating to visitors who are not acclimatized. Sunshine amounts are moderately large; from four to five hours a day in the wetter months and as much as eight hours a day during the drier seasons.
Inland in the higher plateaux areas rainfall may be slightly less and there is a tendency for a single rainy season from April to September, although all months get some rain. Daytime temperatures are here a little lower than on the coast and night temperatures are much cooler, so that the climate is less uncomfortable.
Humidity is also lower during the drier months. Climatic conditions here are well represented by the table for Santa Elena which is just across the border in western Venezuela.
Guyana is the most northerly and the largest of the three countries. It has the largest area of upland plateau with the highest mountain rising to over 2,750 m/9,000 ft.
The table for Georgetown is representative of the coastal area and the lowlands. The rainiest months are May to July and November to January, as the intertropical convergence brings the heaviest and most reliable rains. These are the months with most cloud and least sun. Note the constant high humidity and the remarkably constant temperature around the year.
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