One of the countries in my novel is Semi-Arid, but I want it to become more like a hot and dry desert the farther West one travels (like the Sahara). Is this possible? PS. There are mountains to the east of the semi-arid desert.

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    $\begingroup$ I am confused. Isn't this the most usual case? That is, isn't it normal and expected for deserts to have more or less extensive semi-desertic areas bordering them? Such as, the Sahara and the Sahel for example. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 1, 2022 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


This is almost the exact case of nearly every desert on our planet, so yes. This is definitely possible.


As said before, semi-arid regions are ALWAYS close to deserts. They’re not dry enough to be a proper desert, but not wet enough for the usual temperate plants and animals. I don’t think you even need to worry about which particular direction the desert and “not-quite-desert” are in relation to each other; the “desert side” in the east just needs to be in the rain-shadow of high hills or proper mountains, while the “semi-arid side” going west would likely have a river running through it, or it would be just far enough from the mountains to get a bit more rain.


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