Adapting to the climate in Kazakhstan

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Kazakhstan is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Kazakhstan?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Kazakhstan?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


"What are the climate characteristics of Kazakhstan?"

Depends on the region, where I am in Ust-Kamenogorsk (East Kazakhstan on the border of Siberia, Mongolia and China) ... Maximum temperature +40C, minimum temperature -55C.

Wind strengths can range from calm up to 30-40 metres/second (100-150km/hr).

Inside apartments, shops, most city buildings, the centralised heating is turned on at the beginning of October and turned off again in late April, so you will be warm during winter if you remain inside.

You will need to practise walking on ice if you go outside and have good clothing to deal with the extreme cold. If you have to walk to your bus stop, make sure you have good insulated gloves and insulating socks and shoes, a ushanka is useful too (although you lose more heat from your hands than you do from your head) ... I find I can survive the cold without the ushanka standing around waiting for a bus, but need good gloves and socks below about -20C. … head-10834

The main public transport is by bus or in the centre of the city, trams, these are heated and you are able to survive the cold in them. The older (10-20 years) secondhand buses that were bought from the Scandinavian countries are best suited to the Ust-Kamenogorsk climate with double glazing, industrial level heating for Arctic winters, good seating and good drive trains (they still have their original destination boards up, Stockholm, Uppsala, Malmö, Linköping).

The newer buses from China and Korea are not up to the job (no double glazing, not good heating systems, unreliable ... often breaking down, seating only for very small people or children, forget trying to sit properly if you are bigger than about 170cm), but hey, perhaps someone got them cheaply ...

Upside, there are no insects in winter, they cannot survive.

In summer, there is generally no air-conditioning ... and insects are out and about, mosquitoes and ticks, bear in mind too, that the East Kazakhstan region also has marmots, a vector carrier of Y. pestis ... and recently there have been a number of anthrax infections.

i doubt if Kazakhstan ever reached -55 degC this winters. Due to overall climate change...this time it didn't cross -35. But neways.......once extreme then numbers don't matter

I loved Almaty as a city and i have heard Uralsk is also good one on the western side. Food is almost everything non-veg. Me being vegetarian, have to somehow survive.
Liquor is cheap. People are nice to talk to. Language is a big problem. A little bit of Russian is must. Survival on google translate is recommended, for short term travelers

"i doubt if Kazakhstan ever reached -55 degC this winters."

I am referring to my city, Ust-Kamenogorsk, which has had these temperatures in the past, as recently as 2012 ...  this was not a statement on all of Kazakhstan, only my region, I am not qualified to pass comment on other regions since I have only spent short periods in Astana and Almaty.

I have, however, spent 4 years in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

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