Travel Alert Status
Level 4: Do Not Travel
UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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.
Dari (Persian) and Pashto are the official languages of Afghanistan. Although Pashto has quite an extensive literature, Dari is used for cultural expression and business and government transactions of the many dialects spoken. The Turkish Uzbek, Turkoman, and Kirgiz are most prevalent in the border regions.
Pashtu (official) 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran