Climate and Weather of Tajikistan
Due to its relief and location in the heart of Central Asia, the climate in Tajikistan is continental. However, some regions of the country are subtropical intracontinental. In the plains around Dushanbe and Khujand, the climate is more temperate: summers are hot and dry, and winters in Dushanbe have much precipitation; whereas in the north of the country, in Khujand, it snows less in winters. On the other hand, since 93% of the territory of the country is above 1000 meters (3,280 ft), a polar climate dominates in the mountains over 3000 m (9,483 ft) in winters.
In January, average temperature in Tajikistan fluctuates between 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in the plains and -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the mountains. In July, the average temperature in the plains is 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), and 0 to 15 degrees Celsius (32 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) in the mountains, depending on the altitude. The lowest temperature recorded in Tajikistan was -63 degrees Celsius (-81.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at Lake Bulunkul. The highest temperature recorded was +48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the town Nizhny Panj.
In winters, it snows heavily in the western part of Tajikistan, which closes mountain passes, such as the Anzob Pass connecting Dushanbe and Khujand.
Weather in Dushanbe
Dushanbe is located on the edge of mountains, and thus has mild subtropical continental climate. Summer in the capital is warm, with rare precipitation. Winter is rather short but accompanied by abundant rains. Spring is long with frequent rains and even thunderstorms. Autumn is dry, but closer to winter it also gets rainy. In January, the average air temperature in Dushanbe is 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), and in July, it is +25-30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Thus, the best time to visit Dushanbe is between April and October.
Weather in Khujand
Despite the fact that Khujand is located in the north of Tajikistan, the climate there is warmer and drier, as the city lies in the lowland and is open to warm air masses coming from Uzbekistan. Summers in Khujand are hot, dry and long. Winters are long, and cold but with little snow. Spring and autumn are short with small amount of precipitation. In January, the average temperature in Khujand is approximately 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), and in July +30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The best time for a visit is spring and autumn. Khujand has some of the hottest weather in Tajikistan.
Weather in the Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains have the most extreme climate in Tajikistan. The Pamir Mountains take up a huge amount of territory and the elevation ranges between 1000 and 7495 meters (3,281 to 24,590 feet), thus weather in the region differs a lot depending on the elevation and location. On average, the climate of the Pamirs is high mountainous and extremely continental, and polar in more severe places. Winters are long, lasting from October to April. Summers are only in July and August. The average temperature in January is -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and in July, the average is +20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The precipitation rate also differs: in Khorog it is 276mm a year (10.87 in), 416mm (16.38 in) in Ishkashim, and only 72mm (2.83 in) in Murghab. Taking this all into consideration, tours in the Pamirs are arranged from April to October, but the best time to travel is in July and August.