Annapurna region is one of the best places to trek in Nepal. There are numerous trails and treks in this region, and among them, Annapurna Circuit Trek is the most scenic one. This moderate level trek has attracted thousands of trekkers from around the world. The spectacular views are breathtaking. However, one has to keep in mind when to travel to enjoy the best of the region. Even though this trek can be done all year long, weather plays a crucial role in determining the views and environment of the trek. Hence, trekkers need to keep in mind the weather condition and temperatures during each month before they decide when to trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Weather Forecast and Temperatures
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October is the autumn season and is the best time to trek. The weather is stable and precise, with fewer chances of rainfall and snow because the monsoon season has just ended. The views of the mountains are unobstructed for almost the whole month. Trekking is also much more comfortable in this month as the days are warm and sunny. The average temperature is 15oC, and the minimum temperature doesn't go below 7-8oC. The lower region of the trek is more temperate, and as the altitude gains, it is more relaxed. Since the night and morning is cold, it is advised to carry warm clothing like jackets and socks.
The autumn season continues into November and is also the most favorable time to do this trek. The average temperature is 15oC, with the minimum temperature around 7oC. In regions higher than 4,000m like Thorung La Pass, the minimum temperature can go up to -5oC, and the weather might be unpredictable on rare occasions. The sky is clear, with almost no traces of clouds. Thus the views of Annapurna range and the neighboring vistas are majestic. Towards the end of the month, the weather starts to get colder, marking the start of winter. So, it is advised to carry and wear thick warm clothes during this month.
From December, the winter season begins, and the average day temperature drops to 10o C and sometimes even 5oC. At night, the average temperature drops as low as -5oC. During this month, the mountains are covered with snow, and the sky is clear most of the time. At the beginning of the month, the temperature is bearable, but towards the end, the coldness increases. Below 4,000m, the weather is tolerable. With the gain in altitude, the temperature drops. At Thorung La Pass (5,418m), the highest point of the trek, thick layers of snow persists. So, in the higher elevations, snowfall can occur at any time, and due to this reason, the trail gets icy, making it difficult to walk. Precautions should be taken while walking in snowy and slippery paths. So, it is essential to wear proper footwear and warm winter clothes.
January is in the middle of winter, and thus the weather gets freezing. The average temperature varies between 1oC to -10oC. In elevations below 4,000m, the average temperature ranges between 7oC to 12oC. Due to the cold and harsh temperatures, there are fewer crowds in January. It is easier to find accommodations as well, so January is the right time for those who want to avoid crowds. During the daytime, the sky is clear with panoramic views of snow-clad mountains. However, the weather at high altitudes can be unpredictable. The morning and nighttime are very harsh with freezing temperatures. So, it is essential to carry and wear warm clothes that maintain your body temperature.
February is considered as a transition month because the winter is coming to an end and the temperature rises welcoming the spring season. Hence, while trekking during this month, trekkers get to experience two seasons. Early February marks the end of winter, and snowfalls are expected during this time, especially in the higher altitudes. There is a high possibility of clouded skies obstructing the views of snow-clad mountains. The average temperature ranges from -1 to -14oC. By the middle of the month, the average temperature increases by a few degrees. The days are still short, and the night comes over after 5 PM. Winter clothes and proper footwear is a must if one is planning to trek during February.
March is the first month of the spring season and is also the best time to do the Annapurna Circuit trek. With warmer temperatures, rhododendrons will be in full bloom from this month. There is less probability of rainfall and snowstorm this month. Thus trekkers don't have to worry about cloudy days or weather obstacles. The average temperature is around 4 to -8oC, and in the lower regions, the temperature can go up to 10oC. The weather is pleasant, and the view is colorful with snowy mountain vistas and rhododendrons. Nighttime is still cold, so it is advised to carry winter clothes as well.
The warm spring season continues, and the temperature increases with the onset of April. Many Nepalese festivals also lie within this month, including the Nepalese New Year. Hence, April month is the busiest month of trekking, and along with it, the weather is also favorable. There are no cloudy days to obstruct scenic views of the mountains and landscape. The average temperature ranges between 8oC to -4oC, but in the lower altitudes, the temperature can go up to 20oC in the daytime. The nighttime is still very cold. So, trekkers can travel light but need to carry a few winter clothes for the night.
May is the last month in the spring season. The average temperature lies between 14oC to 0oC, and in the lower elevations, the average temperature can go up to 20oC. However, the nighttime is still cold, so it is recommended to carry warm clothes for the night. This month is also favorable for trekking because the weather is pleasant and sunny for trekking. In some days, clouds can block the panoramic views of the mountains. Few scattered rainfalls can be expected, especially around the end of the month. It is recommended to carry waterproof clothes and items to be safe from the rain.
June marks the start of the monsoon season in Nepal. The temperature is between 16 to 3oC. Even in the highest points of the treks, the temperature is around -3 to -4oC. Rainfall makes the lower regions of the trek muddy and slippery. However, some parts of the Annapurna region like Upper Mustang that lies in the rain-shadow area receive no rainfall. Towards the end of the month, precipitation starts to be a regular phenomenon. The weather can get unpredictable during this month, so it is advised to carry waterproof and warm clothes throughout the whole month.
July is the peak of the monsoon season, and this is the wettest month. The temperature ranges between 18oC and 6oC, with the average temperature being 12oC. The winds from the Bay of Bengal bring torrential rain, which hinders the beautiful views of the mountains, but trekkers are rewarded with crystal clear sights after it ceases. In the lower regions with dense forests, expect to encounter leeches and mosquitoes. The weather is highly erratic, so trekkers are strongly recommended to carry waterproof jackets. There is no need to take bulky winter clothes, but trekkers can carry one-two light jackets for nighttime.
By the end of August, the monsoon season comes to an end. Early August sees the continuation of torrential rain from July. Due to this reason, there are high chances of landslides and soil erosions during this month. There are thick fogs in the mornings during August. Due to muddy trails, there are fewer trekkers during monsoon. The temperature also increases, and the maximum temperature can go up to 19oC. The rain can go on continuously, so it is crucial to carry waterproof clothes and items. Nights can become colder compared to previous months, so it is recommended to bring warm clothes as well.
With the start of September, monsoon slowly comes to an end, and the busy trekking season commences. The weather gets erratic with few showers now and then, especially during the first few days of the month. The temperature also slowly decreases and ranges from 17oC to 4oC. Since the weather is unpredictable, the clear sky is not guaranteed every day. Thus, clouds may obstruct the views of the mountains frequently. However, the landscape is filled with greenery because of the monsoon. By the end of the month, the weather gets stable, and days are bright with clear skies. If traveling during this month, trekkers should carry waterproof as well as warm clothes.
Annapurna Circuit trek is best done during spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) seasons. However, it doesn't mean that it can't be done during the rest of the months. Depending on the weather and facilities available, each month caters to the need for every kind of trekker.