Kazakhstan is so huge it reaches two totally different climatic regions – arid Middle East and chilly Siberia. Cold northern air meets the hot south in this former Soviet state. This means weather in Kazakhstan is very hot in summer and cold in winter. The country experiences four distinct seasons, which is another reason for tourists to check out this exotic yet modern country. Kazakhstan climate goes from pleasant spring, hot summer, and breezy autumn to biting winter.
Spring in Kazakhstan is very colorful, pleasant and picturesque. Spring happens as early as February in the southern regions and slowly creeps up north. While southern fields get ready for spring planting, those in the north can still be covered with thick ice. Spring lasts for two months. Next is sunny summer, which typically starts in May in the south, and then creeps to the northern parts. Summer in the northern areas is a hot 38°C and in the south is a searing 46°C with low humidity. The western areas get very hot and dry, while some parts in the east are warm and wet with rains. In the main cities of Almaty and Astana, average daily temperature is 20°C. The warmest months across this huge country are July and August. Summer season can last for five months, but it is much shorter in the north.
Autumn arrives in September, and this time the season creeps from north to south. Autumn covers the entire country in October. Just before winter, Kazakhstan weather gets cloudy, rainy and windy, with much more rain and mist in the mountain areas and much less in the semi-desert and desert zones. Snow falls much earlier in the mountain regions. In November, winter is in full gear in the northern areas. Winter is white and thick with snow especially in the northern areas of the country, with snow covers reaching a thickness of 30 cm. Winter can last for five months all the way to March. The northern regions can get as cold as -54°C, while the southern areas at about -30°C. The capital city of Astana is in sub-Siberian region, which means there is frost here from October to April, and can be as cold as -10°C to -20°C from December to February.
It doesn’t make sense talking about Kazakhstan climate not in matters of regions and seasons. The country covers a wide area connecting Asia and Europe, and so its climate is greatly diverse. This means Kazakhstan tourism offers a variety of activities and attractions that vary from one region to another and one season to the next. Extreme travelers and backpackers can visit the country anytime of the year, battling the elements across the different regions. This requires the right gears, enough preparation and skilled travelers. Mother Nature is very unpredictable and often unforgiving in the central and remote areas.
For the average traveler, weather in Kazakhstan is at its finest and most comfortable from late April to late October in the major cities, primarily in Astana and Almaty. Around the country and across the regions, there are places to go skiing, skating, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, backpacking, rafting, and swimming.