Kurdistan Regional Government
SAT, 22 OCT 2016 14:51 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

Kurdistan Regional Government denounces Iraqi Foreign Minister

FRI, 21 OCT 2016 13:17

The Kurdistan Regional Government strongly denounces the Iraqi Foreign Minister for his improper and unilateral actions, with no regards to the sacrifices made by the Kurdistan Region. 

Prime Minister Barzani's statement on the launch of operation to liberate Mosul

MON, 17 OCT 2016 19:56

"The Presidency of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistan Regional Government have displayed a great deal of flexibility to reach an agreement with the Iraqi government to make sure that the operation of liberating Mosul will succeed. "

Mosul liberation operation starts - Statement by Kurdistan Region General Command of Peshmerga Forces

MON, 17 OCT 2016 09:37

Thousands of Kurdish and Arab families return to Zummar

THU, 13 OCT 2016 22:31

Prime Minister Barzani receives new French Consul General to the Kurdistan Region

MON, 10 OCT 2016 19:20

Prime Minister Barzani highlights the role of private sector in reviving Kurdistan’s economy

SUN, 9 OCT 2016 15:20

KRG Spokesperson statement on Turkish forces presence in Bashiqah

THU, 6 OCT 2016 22:52

Prime Minister Barzani receives The Netherlands new Consul General to Erbil

WED, 5 OCT 2016 11:32

Kurdistan Regional Government condemns Hasakah terrorist attack

WED, 5 OCT 2016 10:41

Germany offers humanitarian assistance to areas liberated from ISIS

FRI, 30 SEP 2016 23:49