Afghanistan's climate compromises a cold, snowy winter and hot, dry summer. Extreme temperature changes occur from night to day, season to season, and from place to place. During summer in Kabul (altitude 5,800 feet) the temperature may be 50°F at sunrise but reach 100°F by noon. In the Jalalabad Plains (1,800 feet and 90 miles from Kabul) and southwestern parts of the country, summer temperatures can reach 115°F.
The chief characteristic of Afghanistan's climate is a blue cloudless sky with over 300 days of sunshine yearly. Even during the winter, skies usually remain clear between snowfalls. Since rainfall is scarce from May to November, this period can be extremely dry and dusty. In recent years, drought has impaired agricultural production in some areas.
Mostly rugged mountains; plains in the north and southwest
Natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Damaging earthquakes occur in the Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
7,696 Square Miles
19,933 Square Kilometers
Limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
Environment - International Agreements:
Party To: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation