Country

Afghanistan

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Afghanistan.

Current Climate Climatology

This page presents Afghanistan's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit.  Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for  specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.

Observed, historical data is produced by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of University of East Anglia. Data is presented at a 0.5º x 0.5º (50km x 50km) resolution.

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Climate Data Historical

Afghanistan has an arid continental climate with considerable temperature and precipitation variation between seasons. Temperatures also vary greatly by altitude, with mountainous regions experiencing temperatures well below zero on an annual basis, yet southern arid regions regularly experiencing temperatures over 35ºC. Precipitation varies considerably with topography, with the southwestern arid region typically experiencing less than 150 millimeters (mm) of precipitation each year, and the northeastern mountain range experiencing more than 1,000 mm. Conditions in Afghanistan also have a complex intra-annual interaction with large-scale climate phenomena, specifically the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole. The latter is associated with drought conditions in Afghanistan.

Temperature

  • Warming occurred of well over 1ºC across most regions of Afghanistan over the 20th century.
  • An increased frequency of hot days and hot nights is expected.
  • Warming has been strongest in Afghanistan’s central and southwestern regions, and weakest in the northeast in the vicinity of Afghanistan’s largest glaciers

Precipitation

  • Precipitation trends in Afghanistan vary by region, with few areas of the country registering statistically significant changes. 
  • Between 1901 and 2010, there was a significant increase in drought severity in the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand and Nimruz during the wheat growing season (November to May), whereas drought intensity during the corn and rice growing seasons (primarily July to September) worsened significantly in the western third of Afghanistan’s territory. These changes in drought severity were most pronounced in the far western areas bordering Iran.
  • Changes in precipitation patterns were observed between 1951–2010 across Afghanistan, including slight (<10%) reductions in mean annual rainfall across the west of the country, and less spring rainfall across all regions.
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