Afghanistan experiences four distinct seasons, which vary in extremes. Summers are dry and hot, whilst winters bring extreme cold with heavy snowfall. The weather in Afghanistan also varies hugely depending on the location and altitude. The impact of Afghanistan’s weather is huge on rural farming communities, with unforeseen changes leaving a large impact on crop production, agriculture, and livelihoods. 

Does it ever rain in Afghanistan?

Spring in Afghanistan is relatively short, lasting from April to May in most of the country, and March to May in the arid southern regions. Spring can be rainy, which can cause dangerous flash floods due to degraded land, but it also is vital for the country's agriculture. The season is known for warm pleasant weather that is not in the extremes, even in hotter areas of the country such as Kandahar, where the temperature is around the mid-30s. In addition to temperate weather, the hot dusty summer winds are not present yet. 

Spring also marks the traditional spring festival of Nowruz, symbolising the rebirth of nature, new life and new beginnings.

How hot does it get in Afghanistan?

Summers in Afghanistan are hot and dry, with temperatures occasionally exceeding 50°C in some places, such as in southern provinces. There is minimal rain in the season, especially in the arid lowlands. During summer, there can also be an extreme temperature range in a limited period, with temperatures ranging by over 15°C in a single day. It also brings with it strong dry, hot, and dusty winds, particularly in arid areas such as Kandahar, Helmand, and Nimruz. August begins to bring gradual cooling, although there is still limited rainfall - often, there is no rainfall at all during the summer months. As a result, droughts are frequent, which creates problems of food security for many Afghans. 

Autumn in Afghanistan 

Autumn in Afghanistan, which lasts roughly from September until November, brings relief from the dry and hot summer, with cooler air and a rise in humidity occurring in most parts of the country. However, southern areas such as Kandahar still remain hot and dry. In the lowlands, autumn brings with it heavy precipitation. Autumn is the harvest time in many parts of Afghanistan. 

How cold are the winters in Afghanistan?

Winters in Afghanistan can be extremely harsh, with temperatures dropping to -25°C, sometimes even lower, for months at a time. The season brings heavy snowfall, though this can vary depending on location and altitude. Snow plays an important role for agriculture, as when it melts in spring, it is a vital source of water for crops.

However, these extreme weather conditions make winter in Afghanistan very difficult for families, and compound existing challenges they face. Heavy snowfall isolates remote communities from urban centres for months at a time, creating difficulties for people in such communities to access basic services. If there has been drought during the summer before, these snowy conditions may perpetuate the food insecurity caused by the drought. Similarly, if there is less snowfall one winter, this can then contribute to drought in the spring and summer. 

How does Afghanaid help?

Given Afghanistan’s climate, and ensuing problems such as drought, floods, and food insecurity, Afghanaid supports communities in Afghanistan to adapt to the changing climate. By working alognside local communities, we help them build local capacity to plan, prepare for, and respond to harsh weather conditions and climate emergencies.

Find out more about this vital adaptation work

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