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It is about as large as the state of Pennsylvania and a little smaller than England. It extends for a distance of almost 110 km/700 mi. Although there are mountains rising to 900–1,800 m/3,000–6,000 ft much, of the island is low-lying. The table for Havana is representative of the low-lying parts on the north of the island. Rainfall on the north coast is rather more than in the south and the hills may receive over 2,500 mm/100 in a year. The drier region of the island is in the southeast around Guantánamo, where rain is as low as 500 mm/20 in a year.

In the west there tends to be a single maximum of rainfall in July and August, but towards the east there is often a brief wetter period in April and May then a pause before the heavier rains in July and August. The rainy season is often called the monsoon in Ethiopia because it is associated with a change in the predominant wind direction; northeast winds prevail during the dry season and westerly to southwesterly winds during the rains. Rainfall is above 1,000 mm/40 in a year almost everywhere in the highlands and it rises to as much as 1,500–2,000 mm/60–80 in in the wetter western parts.

There is a low coastal plain on the Atlantic coast. The weather and climate of the country are similar to those described in more detail for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Annual rainfall is almost everywhere between 1,250 mm/50 in and 1,750 mm/70 in and is well distributed around the year. Rainfall is least in the south of the country and along the coast. The table for Brazzaville is representative of the south of the country. This shows a distinct dry season between June and September when the sun and the intertropical rain-belt are farthest north; there is a second but brief drier period in January when the rain-belt is farthest south.

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