The climate of Turkmenistan is temperate continental. This means it experiences four seasons, with very warm summers and icy winters. Most of the country is dominated by the Karkum Desert, which is one of the driest deserts in the world and which consequently affects the overall weather of Turkmenistan. It occupies an area of 135,000 square miles, covering 70 percent of the land area.
Temperatures in the desert can reach over 120°F during summer days, falling sharply at night. During the winter, the average temperatures of the desert region are between 5°F and 14°F. Otherwise, the rest of the country sees hot summers and cold winter. The warmest months are June, July, and August when temperatures reach around 100°F during the day and fall to 68°F at night. During the winter months, the coldest day can see temperatures fall to 29°F at night, with the mercury reaching only 45°F in the height of the day in January.
The whole country is very dry, dictated by the desert that dominates 70 percent of the land. Average annual rainfall is nine inches, although two-thirds of the country only receives less than six inches of precipitation every year. The wettest months are between January and May, and the highest amount of rainfall comes in April when most cities experience about an inch of rain.
Best Time to Visit Turkmenistan
Since the summers are very hot and the winters are very cold, the best times to visit Turkmenistan is during either spring or fall. April is the wettest month, yet the small amount of rain isn’t enough to put a dampener on sightseeing. Instead, the rain sees desert flowers bloom for a brief period, with visitors treated to a spectacle of red, orange, and yellow colors set against the usual ochre landscapes. Fall is another good time to visit because, aside from the good weather, this is the time of harvest, and you will be treated to a huge choice of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Turkmenistan doesn’t really have a ‘high’ season so accommodation prices remain constant throughout the year. It is nevertheless worth booking ahead as local festivals can see prices go up and accommodations fill to capacity.