Climate and Average Weather in Iraq

Iraq is a southwestern Asian country well-known for its historical Mesopotamia region where the world's earliest cities were built. Iraq has a semi-arid climate and a very breathtaking and diverse terrain where the desert, valleys, highlands, and plains meet, making the country home to unique plant species that thrive under high temperatures.

Because Iraq is predominantly made up of desert, the monthly average temperatures in Iraq range from higher than 48 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) in July and August to below freezing in January. Roughly 90 percent of the annual rainfall occurs between November and April, most of it in the winter months from December through March. The remaining six months, particularly the hottest ones of June, July, and August, make up the dry season of Iraq.

The combination of rain shortage and extreme heat makes much of Iraq a desert where mean annual rainfall for the country ranges around 133.0 mm (5.24 in). January is Iraq's wettest month of the year which is within the country’s winter season. The north and northeast regions of Iraq experience low precipitation during winter with low precipitation in Ar-Rutbah of 15mm (0.6inch) rainfall to moderate rainfall in Kirkuk of 67mm (2.6inch).

Does it snow in Iraq?
Snow is a common occurrence exclusively for Iraq's highest altitudes. In particular, the mountain Cheekha Dar experiences heavy snowfall at an altitude of 3611 metres (11847 feet).

On the other hand, snowfall is incredibly rare for the rest of the country in lower altitudes, particularly in the desert and plains. January is the coldest month of the year when the winter season in Iraq entails moderate temperatures ranging from 13°C (55°F) in Ar-Rutbah to 17°C (63°F) in Nasiriya. At night, temperatures typically drop to 6°C (43°F) in Nasiriya and 1°C (34°F) in Ar-Rutbah.

Does Iraq get hurricanes?
As Iraq is a semi-arid country, it does not get hurricanes in the context of heavy rainfall. Instead, Iraq gets dust storms lifted into the air by strong winds and immense pressure, causing mass displacement of sand and dust. For this reason, the country has adapted to such harsh weather conditions where people in the country wear protective clothing and infrastructure is specifically built to keep dust under control and at bay. When is the best time to visit Iraq?
The best time to visit Iraq is during the mellow months of spring from April to May, as well as during autumn or fall from September to November. In April, the city of Ar-Rutbah has a warm maximum daytime temperature of 25°C (78°F), while Nasiriya gets very warm temperatures of 32°C (89°F). Nighttime temperatures in Nasiriya generally drop to 18°C (65°F) and 10°C (50°F) for Ar-Rutbah.

Because dust storms in Iraq generally occur during summer, we do not recommend travelling to Iraq from overseas in the months of June, July, and August. If you plan on staying in Iraq during these months, we recommend staying indoors at your accommodation instead. As much as possible, wear clothing that protects your eyes, nose, and mouth such as bandannas, neckerchiefs, and goggles.

Interested in more detailed Weather and Climate information for Iraq?
Please select the city below you wish to travel to, or the one closest to your destination. Each selected city will show you the following graphs:
1. Yearly average minimum and maximum temperatures
2. Monthly averages of precipitation throughout the year (rainfall, snow etc)
3. Monthly average hours of sunshine throughout the year

Additionally, some pages provide historical weather data such as humidity, wind speed, and water temperature.

Popular places in Iraq

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