Mount Chiperone in northern Mozambique is a semi-isolated peak situated some 50 km south of the Mount Mulanje massif in southern Malawi. It lies in Milange District of Zambézia Province, 40 km SSW of the District Centre of Milange.
The climate is tropical and monsoonal with a wet season (November to May) and a dry season (May to November). The dry season is mostly cool but hot and humid prior to the first rain. Maritime influences ameliorate the dry season in the Shire Highlands with periods of light, misty drizzle, locally known as chiperoni.
If you’re from Blantyre, you are familiar with this word.
What is the meaning of Chiperoni?
It’s the name of a drizzle rain in Malawi.
Here’s an official definition by the meteorological department:
Chiperoni: Malawian name for influx of cool moist air from the south east, bringing overcast conditions with drizzle on windward slopes along the Northern lakeshore and in particular to many areas in the South of Malawi. This phenomenon can persist for up to a week but the usual duration is two to three days.
There’s a mountain in Mocambique called Chiperoni or sometimes spelled Chiperone. When the winds blow the clouds over this mountain, the Shire Highlands get chiperoni weather.
Sometimes chiperoni forces a change in travel plans. The constant drizzle can turn gravel roads into a soap-like mud adventure.
It’s also used as a brand name. There used to be a blanket factory in Thyolo called Chiperoni. The factory has closed down or moved but the brand name still exists. (update 28.05.07: it seems they are still producing Chiperoni blankets).
Chiperoni is one of my favorite words. I like the sound of it. Chiperoni could also be a spicy chili snack or the name of a hot, new, hi-tech gadget. From Chip + Peperoni.
For now, it’s the new home of my Malawi blog.
I saw this sign advertising “Chiperoni blankets” in Blantyre.