Kurdistan Regional Government
WED, 28 JAN 2015 17:10 Erbil, GMT +3

Kurdistan's geography and climate

The Kurdistan Region comprises parts of the three governorates of Erbil, Slemani and Duhok.

It borders Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Turkey to the north, lying where fertile plains meet the Zagros mountains. It is traversed by the Sirwan river and the Tigris and its tributaries, the Great Zab and the Little Zab.

Area: 40,643 square kilometres [1]

Population: 3,757,058 [2]

Capital city: Erbil (also known as Hewler)

The mountains of the Kurdistan Region have an average height of about 2,400 metres, rising to 3,000–3,300 metres in places. The highest peak, Halgurd, is near the border with Iran and measures 3,660 metres. The highest mountain ridges contain the only forestland in the Region.[3]

Annual rainfall is 375-724mm. [4]

The climate of the Kurdistan Region is semi-arid continental: very hot and dry in summer, and cold and wet in winter.

Spring is the most beautiful season in Kurdistan and the time when Kurds celebrate Nawroz, the Kurdish New Year, on the spring or vernal equinox. Mean high temperatures range from 13-18 degrees in March to 27-32 degrees in May.[5]

The summer months from June to September are very hot and dry. In July and August, the hottest months, mean highs are 39-43 degrees, and often reach nearly 50 degrees.[6]

Autumn is dry and mild, and like spring is an ideal time of year to travel in the Region. Average temperatures are 24-29 degrees in October, cooling slightly in November.[7]

Winters are mild, except in the high mountains. Mean winter high temperatures are 7-13 degrees Celsius, and mean lows are 2-7 degrees Celsius.[8]


[1] KRG-administered territory only. Compiled by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) from various national and regional sources: International Boundaries from National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) Digital Chart of the World (DCW). The primary source for the DCW database is the Operational Navigation Chart series co-produced by the military mapping authorities of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States.

[2] According to Oil-for-Food Distribution Plan, approved by the UN, December 2002.

[3] United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/latenews/Iraq_2003/facts.htm.

[4] Derived from the Global Agro-Ecological Zones Study, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Land and Water Development Division (AGL), with the collaboration of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 2000. Data averaged over a period of 37 years. Raster data-set has been exported as ASCII raster file type.

[5] US Air Force Combat Climatology Center.

[6] US Air Force Combat Climatology Center.

[7] US Air Force Combat Climatology Center.

[8] US Air Force Combat Climatology Center.

Latest Articles

KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani lauds Kobane liberation

TUE, 27 JAN 2015 21:46

Upon the liberation of Kobane, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, congratulated Syrian Kurdish fighters and the Peshmerga, and all defenders of freedom around the world.  He also expressed his gratitude to Turkey and other allies for their support and participation.

PM Barzani mourns the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz

SUN, 25 JAN 2015 22:47

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, today attended the mourning ceremony of the  late King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz al-Saud at Yamama Royal Palace in Riyadh, along with world leaders, to pay their respect following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud on Friday.

Kurdistan Regional Government condemns the murder of Japanese hostage Yukawa

SUN, 25 JAN 2015 21:00

Peshmerga Forces Take Control of Kiske Junction, Cutting ISIS Northern Supply Routes Between Mosul, Tal Afar and Sinjar

FRI, 23 JAN 2015 23:26

PM Barzani receives the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

FRI, 23 JAN 2015 21:04

A Message from President Barzani on International Coalition Meeting in London to Counter ISIS

FRI, 23 JAN 2015 13:43

PM Barzani meets President Putin's special envoy

WED, 21 JAN 2015 22:43

Peshmerga Forces Launch Large-Scale Offensive Against ISIS From Multiple Positions South East And South West of Mosul Dam

WED, 21 JAN 2015 22:23

Build Kurdistan relationship or risk losing vital Middle East partner

WED, 21 JAN 2015 15:02

PM Barzani meets Pope’s envoy to Iraq

MON, 19 JAN 2015 18:17