In Uzbekistan, the climate is arid continental in the vast steppe plains of the central-western part, while it's still continental but moderately rainy (and snowy in winter) in the east, where hills and mountains are found.
Winter is cold, especially in the north: the average temperature in January is around -5 °C in the northernmost areas (the Aral Sea and the northern part of the Kyzyl Kum Desert), while it's slightly above freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) in the central cities of the ancient Silk Road (Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara), and it goes up to 5 °C (41 °F) in the extreme south (see Termez). Summer is hot: the average temperature in July ranges from 26/27 °C (79/81 °F) in the north to 30 °C (86 °F) in the south. In the mountains, the temperature naturally decreases with altitude. Uzbekistan is exposed to cold air masses from Siberia, especially in the north-west, but also in the center-south, where, however, they alternate with warmer air masses coming from the south. The clash of different air masses can cause strong winds, for instance, the warm wind blowing from the south-west, which can bring dust storms.
Precipitation is typical of desert and semi-desert climates in the west, while it's slightly higher, at a semi-arid steppe level, in the central-eastern part. In the mountains, precipitation increases, especially on the more exposed slopes. Summer is sunny, and it's the driest season across the country.

Eastern cities

As mentioned, in the east of Uzbekistan there are hills and mountains.


In the capital, Tashkent, located in the east of the country, at 400 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level, the average temperature ranges from 2.5 °C (37 °F) in January to 27.5 °C (81.5 °F) in July. From the mountains located south of the city, a dry down-slope wind can blow throughout the year, able to raise the temperature by several degrees. In the last few decades, the winter temperature has increased by a few degrees, and also the summer temperature, though to a lesser extent, as happened in many countries of the former Soviet Union. During winter, however, snowfalls and cold waves are quite frequent, though usually less intense than in the past, for instance, in January 1969, the temperature reached -29 °C (-20 °F), while during the more recent cold wave of January 2008, it reached -18 °C (0 °F).
In spring, from March to early May, clashes of air masses cause frequent winds, rain and sudden changes in temperature.
Summer, from June to August, is sunny and hot, with highs generally around 35/36 °C (95/97 °F) in July and August, but with peaks above 40 °C (104 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of Tashkent.
Tashkent - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-205101418201813840
Max (°C)791522283336352922159
Min (°F)283241505764686455463932
Max (°F)454859728291979584725948

Precipitation, about 415 mm (16.5 in) per year, occurs mostly from November to May, while in summer, it almost never rains. Here is the average precipitation.
Tashkent - Average precipitation

In Tashkent, and generally in Uzbekistan, the sun regularly shines in summer, while in winter, it is not seen very often, however, some sunny day can always occur. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Tashkent - Sunshine


In the easternmost part of the country, in Fergana, located in the valley of the same name, around 600 meters (2,000 feet) above sea level and surrounded by mountains, the climate is slightly colder.
Fergana - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-3-1510151820191483-1
Max (°C)581522283335342921136
Min (°F)273041505964686657463730
Max (°F)414659728291959384705543

In Fergana, precipitation is scarcer than in the capital: only 165 mm (6.5 in) per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Fergana - Average precipitation


Samarkand, the old city and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, located at 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, has also a climate similar to that of Tashkent, though a little less hot in summer because of the higher altitude. Annual precipitation is around 355 mm (14 in), so it's slightly lower than in the capital, but it follows a similar pattern, with a maximum in winter and spring and virtually no rain in summer.
Samarkand - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-20491417191713730
Max (°C)791421263234332822159
Min (°F)283239485763666355453732
Max (°F)454857707990939182725948


The eastern part of Uzbekistan is home to several mountain ranges, such as the Pamir-Alaj, where the highest mountain in the country is found, Khazret Sultan, 4,643 meters (15,233 feet) high. More to the north, in the region of Tashkent, there is another mountainous area (the western Tien-Shan), where we find the Ugam-Chatkal National Park, which has a diverse landscape, with lakes, forests, and canyons.

Southern plain

In southern Uzbekistan, we find a flat area, where, in comparison with the eastern cities, the climate is slightly milder in winter and hotter in summer. The rains are very poor.


Bukhara (or Buxoro) is located practically at sea level, in the south-western desert zone, and in fact, it receives only 150 mm (6 in) of rain per year. The temperature is not very different from that of the cities already mentioned, but it's a bit hotter in summer: the monthly average temperature ranges from 3.5 °C (38.5 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in July, when highs are normally about 38 °C (100 °F). Despite the low precipitation amount, the city may experience some light snowfalls in winter.
Bukhara - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-1-14101519201711630
Max (°C)81017253137383731241619
Min (°F)303039505966686352433732
Max (°F)4650637788991009988756166



In the far south, in Termez, the average temperature is higher, in fact, it ranges from 5 °C (41 °F) in January to 30.5 °C (87 °F) in July. Only 150 mm (6 in) of rain fall per year; although the average is fairly mild, in winter, sometimes it snows, and even here, intense frosts can occur. Summer is scorchingly hot, and in the worst moments, the temperature can exceed 45 °C (113 °F).
Termez - Average temperatures
Min (°C)026121620211914951
Max (°C)101319273338403832261912
Min (°F)323643546168706657484134
Max (°F)505566819110010410090796654

Cold deserts

Cold deserts of Uzbekistan

In northwestern and central Uzbekistan, we find desert and semi-desert areas, where the climate is characterized by very cold winters, with averages below freezing, and hot summers.
The central-western part of the country is occupied by the vast Kyzyl Kum Desert (or Qyzylqum), where the temperature can reach -30 °C (-22 °F) in winter and 50 °C (122 °F) in summer, while in the far west, we find the Ustyurt Plateau, another desert area, which, despite its name, has an average altitude of around 200 meters (650 feet). The main river, Amu Darya, flows towards the west and eventually reaches the area of the Aral Sea, a large salt lake which was once fed by the same river, but has shrunk over the decades because of exploitation for agriculture. Today, the river opens into a large delta, which partly dries up in the desert, while in the south-west, a smaller lake, Sarygamysh, was born from a branch of the river.

Aral Sea

In the area that was once occupied by the southern part of the Aral Sea, in the north-west of the country (the rest of the lake is located in Kazakhstan), winter is definitely cold, in fact, the temperature remains below freezing even during the day for weeks. Summer is a bit shorter and a bit cooler, with highs around 34/35 °C (93/95 °F), even though the highest peaks exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Here are the average temperatures of Chimbay (or Chimboy).
Chimbay - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-8-7-1714182018114-2-6
Max (°C)041122283435342719102
Min (°F)181930455764686452392821
Max (°F)323952728293959381665036

Lake Aral

Best Time

The best times to visit Uzbekistan are spring and autumn in order to avoid the climate extremes to which the country is subject. In particular, in most of the country (Tashkent, Samarkand, Fergana valley), you can choose April and October, while in the north-west (see the Aral Sea), you can choose the periods from mid-April to mid-May and from mid-September to mid-October.

What to pack

In winter: pack very warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a hat, a scarf, and gloves; add some lighter clothes for mild days in the center and south (see Tashkent, Ferghana, Samarqand, Bukhara, Termez).

In summer: pack lightweight clothes, loose-fitting and made of natural fabric (cotton or linen), a sun hat, and a desert turban. Add a sweatshirt for the evening, especially in the north and at an altitude of a few hundred meters (see Tashkent, Samarqand, Ferghana). In the mountains, at intermediate altitudes, light clothes for the day, a sun hat, a sweatshirt and a light jacket for the evening, and hiking shoes; above 3,000 meters (9,800 ft), bring a sweater and a jacket for the evening; above 4,000 meters (13,000 ft), a down jacket, a hat, gloves, and a scarf.
It's better for women to avoid shorts and miniskirts.

Back to top