Weather: Tunisia

This tiny but diverse nation echoes the landscape and climate of Algeria in miniature: a mountain barrier separates a scenic coast from a parched interior. The east-facing shore is more vulnerable than Morocco's to cool, rainy winter storms settling down from Europe and heat from the Sahara moving north. Apart from the occasional blast-furnace days induced by Saharan winds, the stretch from Tunis to Sfax enjoys weather similar to nearby Sicily. The mountains of central Tunisia boast more weather variety than most African locales. Winters can bring serious cold (snow may coat the highest peaks), but summer afternoons can reach 38°C/100°F over large areas. When Saharan and European air masses collide during spring and autumn, a desert depression may spin up and bring a sharp round of wind and showers across Tunisia – although just as often, the rain evaporates and the storm delivers only dust.