Afghanets (wind)

Sands of time over Termez

Termez is famous for its severe climate and as the warmest city of Uzbekistan. Temperature in July may reach 47 degrees Celcius. Not many know that another harsh climatic change here is the wind called “Afghanets”. It takes its name not only for its stormy characteristics peculiar to Afghan people, but also to the fact that it comes from Afghanistan.

Wind Afghanets is born in the eastern part of the Karakum desert, and flows to the east towards the feet of the Pamir Mountains with the speed of 20 m/sec. It appears due to the periodical intrusion of the cold wind to the warm Bactrian plain. Its significance wouldn’t be that high if it didn’t raise tons of sand and dust that continue flowing towards Termez falling upon villages and agricultural fields. This wind harms harvest, destroys fruitful surface of the soil and of course, has a negative impact on the health of local people.

Afghanets wind, Termez
Afghanets wind, Termez
Afghanets wind, Termez

In Termez it is noticed up to 70 times a year in all four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. It blows sometimes few hours, and sometimes few days, also accompanied with rains and cold temperature. It is hard to predict when it comes, but usually a day before “Afghanets” the sky gets misty, temperature increases and humidity goes down. Probably, only old-timers of the village are the best at its forecast.

For those who wish to visit Termez and its unique sights, we recommend to prepare and take sunglasses, a mask and wet tissues with yourselves. However, if you are out during Afghanets wind, you will need to take a shower anyway afterwards to get rid of the amount of sand and dust that will be all over your hair and clothes.

Afghanets wind, Termez
Afghanets wind, Termez
Afghanets wind, Termez

“Afghanets”, however, has also positive sides for tourists. Surroundings of Termez are famous for numerous ancient towns, cave temples and medieval fortresses that have their own charm during these storms. Wandering such places as Kampir-tepa or Kara-tepe that are over 2000 years old, it will seem that you are surrounded by the sands of time and the chronometer will start moving backwards, as if the dust disappears revealing the army of the Alexander the Great or a silent row of Buddha monks. Thus, if you find yourself amid this force, let your imagination burst. Your trip to Termez will turn into an unforgettable lifetime memory.