Home Azerbaijan Climate

Climate

In Azerbaijan, the climate is slightly continental, with relatively cold winters and hot summers; it’s also arid in most of the low-lying areas, while it becomes colder and generally rainier in the mountains. The coastline on the Caspian Sea is semi-arid in the northern part, and arid in the centre (see Baku), while it becomes rainy in the southernmost stretch, which is therefore an exception to the rule that the plains of Azerbaijan are arid.

Winter in Azerbaijan is cold but not freezing, at least in the plains. The Caucasus Mountain Range partially protects inland areas from outbreaks of cold air from Russia, so that the north wind descending from the mountains is warm and dry, similar to Foehn or Chinook, while along the coast the cold wind blows intensely but it’s tempered by the Caspian Sea. Anyway, in winter there may be some light snowfalls and frosts on the coast, but especially in inland areas, where cold air stagnates with more ease, after the wind has ceased.
Summer in Azerbaijan is hot and sunny, with some afternoon thunderstorms in inland areas.
The mountainous areas are usually green and full of forests and streams; the highest peak is Bazardüzü, 4,466 metres (14,652 feet) high, located in the northern Caucasus Range, on the border with the Russian Republic of Dagestan. Some natural parks are also located in the plains and along the coast, to protect the species of birds that come to nest in these area, or marine animals such as seals.
The capital Baku lies on the coast, 28 metres (92 feet) below sea level (the Caspian Sea is in fact a large lake located in a depression). Here, the average temperature of February is 4 °C (39.5 °F), while that of July is 26.5 °C (79.5 °F). The rains are scarce, at a semi-desert level, amounting to just 210 millimetres (8.5 inches) per year, with a maximum between autumn and winter, when they are light but relatively frequent, and a minimum in summer.