GEOGRAPHICAL AND TRAVEL INFORMATION ABOUT CLIMATE IN KYRGYZSTAN
Knowing the basic about clime and weather of a region is very useful when packing for a trip: the appropriate clothes, accessories and even medications for a great holydays. About Kyrgyzstan, the season you plan to go there is determinant as the climate is continental and the differences between the seasons are quite significant. As a rule, if you plan to go in summer – prepare for a really hot weather, if you plan to go in winter – prepare for a cold weather, but it also depends in the region you want to stay because of the altitude, or the difference between the lowest and the highest point in Kyrgyzstan is about 7 000 m (and that’s a lot!).
CLIMATE OF KYRGYZSTAN: OVERVIEW
Located in the heart of Asia, at huge distances from the closer maritime water body, the climate of Kyrgyzstan is influenced by the Siberian high pressure core (the Siberian anticyclone). The absence of an oceanic water body is the neighbor of the country, means, in general terms, the absence of atmospheric humidity and precipitations. This leads to a couple of consequences as the dry air, huge seasonal amplitudes, deficient water balance, rare rainfalls. The climatic zone is basically the temperate, due to the latitude (about 42° N in the geographical center). . The temperature records are notable: -53,6°C in mountain depressions and +44°C in Fergana Valley. However, the average temperatures are around +25°C in summer and -6°C in winter.
The physic-geographical factors influence the circulation of the air masses as the configuration of the precipitation overspread. The mountainous regions, occupying about 95% of the country’s territory, concentrate atypical climate zones including reversing climate in depressions or atypical rainfalls. As the altitude, by direct proportionality influences the amount of received precipitations, the mountains represent an important water tower of the country. The precipitations are the highest in the south, in Turkestan Range while the lowest are in Issyk-Kul lake area (one of the lowest elevated regions of the country) and in the eastern extremity (because of the air masses from Taklamakan Desert – one of the driest regions of the globe). In this context, some regions of the country have a specific temperate desert climate (and desert landscape – as consequence).
In the same time, the higher is the altitude the smaller is the temperature. Many parts of Kyrgyzstan have altitudes more than 3000 m above sea level and in those places you can expect cool weather and even cold nights in the summer. If you plan to go to yurts in the mountains, never forget about warm clothes, even it seems to be the middle of the summer. Not to mention about the highest peaks, where the temperature are never above -10°C – you’ll need polar clothes and accessories for them. Also in the mountains, due to the relief is common the phenomenon of climatic inversion – when the cold air masses are stuck in depressions causing colder temperature in the valleys and higher – on the slopes.
A notable exception from the temperate continental clime is Fergana Depression in the south of the country where the specific climate is the dry subtropical with higher temperatures and a longer warm season. Another climatic anomaly is specific to Issyk-Kul lake basin as the lake cools the temperature in the summer, but rises it in the winter as the lake never freezes.
CITY OF BISHKEK – SPECIFIC STEPPE CLIMATE
The capital city of Kyrgyzstan is located in the southern end of the Central Asian steppe having a specific plateau climate. The circulation of air masses configures a disproportional spread of precipitation during the year: the spring is the wettest season while the winter and particularly the summer are the driest. The continental influence makes an annual thermic amplitude of more than 30°C: -6°C in January and +26°C in July. The plane relief of the steppe facilitates the high speed wind intrusions, especially during winter. Receiving, sometimes more than 2900 h of sunlight/year, Bishkek can be considered a really sunny city, that being beautiful but in the same time dangerous as the risk of getting a sunstroke raises. The same risk, even higher, is in south of the country and in some flat mountain depression where the insolation is pretty high, so, don’t forget about your sunscreen and your hat!