Aridity, extreme temperatures, and significant intra-annual and regional variability are predominant characteristics of Tajikistan’s climate. Variability is driven by Tajikistan’s position at the intersection of atmospheric circulations from the tropics to the southeast and Siberia to the north. Annual mean temperatures vary from 17°C in the south to -6°C in the lower Pamirs. Maximum temperatures are typically observed in July and minimum in January. In East Pamir, minimum temperatures below -50°C have been recorded, whereas in the south, maximum surface air temperature can exceed 40°C. The annual precipitation in lowland, hot deserts of northern Tajikistan, and cold mountain deserts of east Pamir averages from 70 millimeters (mm) to 160 mm, whereas in central Tajikistan precipitation can exceed 1,800 mm per year. The nation receives negligible precipitation during the months of July, August, and September, contributing to frequent droughts.
- The decade 2001-2010 was the hottest since instrumental records began in Tajikistan.
- Lowland areas experienced a temperature rise of approximately 1oC over the long-term average, mid-altitude regions warmed 0.8oC and uplands by 0.2oC.
- Between 1930-2010 temperatures rose at an average rate of 0.1oC per decade. Weather remains very unstable from year-to-year, primarily as a result of atmospheric circulation processes which bring unusually hot or cold air.
- Across the last century, temperature rises have been strongest in the autumn and winter months (i.e. minimum temperatures) and less pronounced in spring and summer.
- Trends in precipitation are highly uncertain and subject to considerable variation depending on micro-climates and period of record.
- There have been observed increases in average annual precipitation of approximately 5-10%.