The climate of Iraq
, a country located in the Middle East, is largely a desert landscape that transitions to mountainous regions toward the north and the northeast. Geographical diversity thus results in the country experiencing varied climate classifications such as BWh (Tropical and Subtropical Desert Climate), BSh (Hot Semi-Arid Climate), and CSa (Mediterranean Climate).
Generally, Iraq sees very hot summers and relatively cool winters. Summer temperatures can go up to a scorching 48°C, particularly in the southern and central parts of the country. Conversely, winter temperatures can drop to 0°C, predominantly in the northern regions. While Baghdad and other central regions experience extreme desert climates with infrequent and unpredictable rainfall, northern areas such as Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaymaniyah encounter Mediterranean conditions with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.
The Best Time to Visit Iraq
The most agreeable time to visit Iraq
is during spring, specifically between March
, and during autumn, which is from October
. During these periods, temperatures are moderate and pleasant, typically ranging from 15°C to 30°C. Rainfall is quite infrequent, which makes these months ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Particularly in the spring, the landscapes are lively and blooming, providing a visually delightful experience.
The Worst Time to Visit Iraq
The summer months, from June
, are the worst time to visit Iraq
. During this period, the country experiences extreme heat, with temperatures often soaring above 40°C. This, combined with the arid conditions, makes outdoor activities challenging and potentially hazardous, particularly for those unaccustomed to such high temperatures. Moreover, in the arid areas, sandstorms are not uncommon during this season, further limiting visibility and outdoor exploration.
Spring Weather in Iraq
Spring, which spans from March
, is arguably the most pleasant season in Iraq
. The temperatures during this period range from 20°C to 30°C, with a notable absence of the oppressive heat characteristic of the summer months. Rainfall is minimal, and the landscape blossoms, providing a vibrant, verdant panorama, particularly in the northern regions where the Mediterranean climate prevails. Northern cities like Erbil become particularly attractive during this season, offering a more temperate weather and lush landscapes.
Summer Weather in Iraq
Summers in Iraq
, from June
, are known for their extreme temperatures. It is common for the mercury to rise above 40°C, particularly in the southern and central regions. Occasionally, temperatures can even exceed 48°C in the peak summer months of July
. The country also experiences minimal rainfall during this period, with the predominant weather condition being hot and dry. The northern regions, while also hot, tend to be somewhat cooler due to the higher altitude and the Mediterranean climate.
Autumn Weather in Iraq
Autumn in Iraq
, from October
, witnesses a gradual decrease in temperatures from the summer's extremes. During this period, temperatures tend to range from 15°C to 30°C. Rainfall remains relatively scarce, but the chances of precipitation gradually increase towards the end of November, particularly in the northern regions. The overall weather remains relatively warm and dry, making it a suitable time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Winter Weather in Iraq
The winter season in Iraq
, from December
, is marked by cooler temperatures. In Baghdad and other central regions, temperatures range from 5°C to 15°C, while in the northern regions, they can drop to 0°C. Precipitation is more frequent in winter, particularly in the northern regions with their Mediterranean climate, and snowfall is not uncommon in the mountains. Despite the cooler temperatures and increased precipitation, the winter season can provide a unique perspective on Iraq's diverse landscapes and historical sites.
Weather in January
falls within the winter season in Iraq
, marking the coldest time of the year for the country. During this month, the weather is quite diverse, owing to the geographical variation across the country. In the central regions, including the capital city, Baghdad, temperatures in January can range from a low of 5°C to a high of 15°C. Weather in January »
Weather in February
marks the tail end of the winter season in Iraq
and acts as a transitional period towards spring. The climate during this month remains variable across different parts of the country, influenced by the diverse geographical features. In central regions, which include Baghdad, February sees a slight increase in temperature compared to January
. Weather in February »
Weather in March
marks the arrival of spring and a shift towards more temperate weather conditions. It's a period of transition from the colder winter temperatures to the warmer summer conditions. As with previous months, the country's geographical diversity leads to a variety of weather conditions across its regions. In central areas, including the capital city Baghdad, temperatures in March begin to rise significantly. Weather in March »
Weather in April
signifies the full onset of the spring season. The weather during this period becomes noticeably warmer, but it remains far from the sweltering heat that characterizes the summer months. As always, regional variations due to Iraq's diverse geography continue to play a role in weather patterns. In the central regions, including Baghdad, April sees a significant rise in temperatures. Weather in April »
Weather in May
heralds the onset of summer, a period known for its high temperatures and dry conditions. The transitional period of spring ends as the weather becomes notably hotter across the country's diverse geographical regions. In central Iraq, including the capital city Baghdad, temperatures continue their upward trend, averaging between 20°C to 37°C. Weather in May »
Weather in June
marks the beginning of the peak summer season in Iraq
, a time when the country experiences its highest temperatures. The already arid conditions of May
intensify, making June one of the hottest and driest months of the year. In central regions, including the capital city Baghdad, temperatures in June soar, often ranging from 25°C to 42°C. Weather in June »
Weather in July
represents the zenith of the summer season, with this month often recording the highest temperatures of the year. The country's geographical diversity continues to contribute to regional variations, but July remains a hot and dry month across all regions. Central Iraq, including Baghdad, witnesses extreme heat during July, with temperatures regularly ranging from 28°C to 45°C. Weather in July »
Weather in August
marks the end of the peak summer season, although it still represents a period of extreme heat across the country. Despite being slightly less severe than July
, August remains a hot and arid month. In the central regions of Iraq, including Baghdad, temperatures in August remain extremely high, averaging from 27°C to 44°C. Weather in August »
Weather in September
indicates the onset of autumn, bringing with it a gradual decrease in temperature from the extreme highs of the summer months. However, the country's diverse geographical regions continue to experience their own unique weather patterns. In central regions of Iraq, including Baghdad, temperatures in September begin to drop, averaging between 24°C and 40°C. Weather in September »
Weather in October
signifies the continuation of the autumn season, a period characterized by further decreases in temperature and the occasional return of rainfall. As always, the country's varied geography results in differing regional weather patterns. In central Iraq, including Baghdad, temperatures in October continue their downward trend, with averages typically ranging from 18°C to 33°C. Weather in October »
Weather in November
marks a further advance into the autumn season. This time of the year witnesses a more noticeable decrease in temperatures and increased chances of rainfall, especially in the northern and central parts of the country. In central Iraq, including Baghdad, November sees a continued drop in temperatures, with averages typically ranging from 12°C to 25°C. Weather in November »
Weather in December
signals the onset of winter, with this month experiencing some of the coldest temperatures and highest amounts of rainfall throughout the year. However, variations in climate remain due to the country's diverse geography. In central Iraq, including the capital city Baghdad, December witnesses a further drop in temperatures, averaging between 6°C and 18°C. Weather in December »