Kurdistan Regional Government
WED, 4 MAR 2015 14:11 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

Italy will continue its humanitarian and military support to the Kurdistan Region

TUE, 3 MAR 2015 21:42

Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, received yesterday in Rome a Kurdistan Regional Government delegation, headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

PM Barzani meets Vatican Foreign Minister

TUE, 3 MAR 2015 13:03

As part of the Kurdistan Regional Government delegation’s visit to the Vatican, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his accompanying delegation yesterday met the Vatican Foreign Minister, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.

PM Barzani and His Holiness Pope Francis discuss current situation in Kurdistan Region

TUE, 3 MAR 2015 12:03

KRG Oil and Gas Council meets members of Kurdistan Parliament

MON, 2 MAR 2015 12:56

PM Barzani strongly condemns the destruction of the historic Mosul artefacts by ISIS

SAT, 28 FEB 2015 13:25

PM Barzani meets a delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran

FRI, 27 FEB 2015 18:46

Iraq’s non-membership in the ICC hinders efforts to recognise ISIS crimes as genocide

WED, 25 FEB 2015 10:41

PM Barzani: We are fully committed to the agreement with Baghdad

TUE, 24 FEB 2015 23:43

Kurdistan Regional Government and Kurdish representatives in Iraqi Parliament and Government discuss relations with Baghdad

MON, 23 FEB 2015 12:23

PM Barzani and Turkish Prime Minister discuss bilateral relations between Erbil and Ankara

SAT, 21 FEB 2015 14:25