Winter morning in Kabul | Photo: Kajsa Johansson

Afghanistan's climate

Afghanistan has four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter. The largest part of the country has a dry continental climate with hot summers and cold winters.

In parts of the lowlands, especially in southern and eastern Afghanistan, the summer temperature can rise to 50⁰C, but stays around 20⁰C in the winter.

In mountainous areas, winter temperatures may dip to -25⁰C. In the higher mountain areas winter temperatures may even be considerably lower than that.

Extensive snowfall is experienced in parts of the mountain region in the winter and many communities are isolated from the outside world for up to 4 months. Irrigated agriculture is largely dependent on their being enough snow in the mountains to melt in the spring. In many places, irrigated agriculture is totally dependent on sufficient snow in the mountains.

The snow season is between October and April, but varies depending on altitude.

In the lowlands rain falls mainly in the autumn and at the beginning of the year. The spring rains are of great importance to agriculture. Enough rain at the right time of year is a prerequisite for the rain-fed agriculture system (called Lalmi) that dominates northern Afghanistan.

Since the 1990s, Afghanistan has suffered recurrent droughts in either all or parts of the country. In recent years especially Northern Afghanistan and areas in the western part of the central highlands have often been plagued by drought.