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The Sahel (from Arabic for shore or border) is the boundary zone in Africa between the Sahara to the north and rain forest to the south. It is primarily savanna and runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Horn of Africa. The countries of the Sahel include Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia.

The Sahel receives 10-20 cm (4-8 in) of rainfall a year, primarily in the monsoon season, although that amount has been decreasing since the 1960s. The Sahara advances each year.

There is a strong correlation between rainfall in the Sahel and intense hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

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