The climate of Kenya is as varied as its topography. Climatic conditions range from the tropical humidity of the coast through the dry heat of the hinterland and northern plains to the coolness of the plateau and mountains; despite Kenya's equatorial position, Mt. Kenya is perpetually snowcapped. The coastal temperature averages 27° C (81° F ), and the temperature decreases by slightly less than 2° C degrees Celsius (3° F ) with each 300-m (1,000-ft) increase in altitude. The capital, Nairobi, at 1,661 m (5,449 ft), has a mean annual temperature of 19° C (66° F ); at 2,740 m (9,000 ft) the average is 13° C (55° F ). The arid northern plains range from 21° to 27° C (70–81° F ).
Seasonal variations are distinguished by duration of rainfall rather than by changes of temperature. Most regions of the country have two rainy seasons, the long rains falling between April and June and the short rains between October and December. Average annual rainfall varies from 13 cm (5 in) a year in the most arid regions of the northern plains to 193 cm (76 in) near Lake Victoria. The coast and highland areas receive an annual average of 102 cm (40 in).