Climate in Nepal
Nepal's climate varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from the tropical to the arctic. The low-land Terai region with its maximum altitude to approximately 305m, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot and humid climate that can rise above 45 Degree Celsius (113 Degree Fahrenheit) during summer. The mid-land regions are pretty much pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain regions, around an altitude above 3000m has an alpine climate with considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.
Seasons in Nepal
Nepal has four climate seasons.
Spring (between March – May):
During spring, the mornings are usually cool and clear but afternoon cloud build-up brings occasional showers. The days are mix up with warm and rain, which displays wildflowers like rhododendrons. The whole country is lush and an abundant green at this season. This period instigate the second most popular and pleasant trekking season as this is rice-planting time. Late-March into April is especially beautiful. It is also a good time for climbing as the high passes are usually snow free and the mountain views are still clear in April. Up to May, the weather becomes hazy and disturbed with the clouds.
Summer (Between June - August):
From June to August, is the monsoon season. Generally the morning is cloudy and cloud wisps form on random ridges and peaks. Trekking at this time of year is generally difficult and uncomfortable as the weather is hot and it rains almost every day. The trails become muddy and are often leech-infested and the mountains are usually obscured by cloud. During June and August, there is an expectation of thunderstorm, hail shower and strong winds among the fine periods. There are, however, possibilities for summer trekking in the trans-Himalayan regions of mustang, Dolpo and Tibet. These regions lie in a rain-shadow and therefore receive significantly less precipitation than the more southerly areas. Summer is also the best season for trips to Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.
Autumn (between September – November):
Autumn is the peak season in Nepal and most beautiful time to trek in any regions of Nepal. This is the best tourist season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set in. The weather is highly pleasant and stunning view of mountains is breathtaking. This is the best time to visit Nepal. This is also the season of festivities as Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals Dashain followed by Tihar in October/November.
Winter (between December – February):
The weather is cool and the sky is clear with occasional snowfalls at higher elevations. This season is good for trekking in lower elevations. The morning and night is cold and the days are warm when sunny.
Temperature & Rainfall
Nepal is the country of extremes. The low-land plains of the Terai can have tropical temperatures and also the mosquitoes. The Himalayas can get to sub-zero temperatures, but the sun blaze can bring some warmth during the day, even in the mountains. The temperature of Kathmandu goes below 1 Degree Celsius (34 Degree Fahrenheit) in winter and rises to an average of 30 Degree Celsius (80 Degree Fahrenheit) in summer.
The average temperature in Kathmandu during the four seasons:
- Spring season ranges between 16-23 Degree Celsius (61-73 Degree Fahrenheit)
- Summer season ranges between 23-30 Degree Celsius (73-82 Degree Fahrenheit)
- Autumn season ranges between 15-24 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit)
- Winter season ranges between 9-12 Degree Celsius (48-54 Degree Fahrenheit)
During the rainy monsoon season between June to August, it rains to an average between 200-375 millimeters in Kathmandu. There is occasional rainfall during the other seasons too. In an average, 1300 millimeters of rain falls in Kathmandu every year.
Note: Monsoon in Nepal is not the typical monsoon of Asia. Rains usually occur during the night-time leaving the sky clean and clear by the morning making the Himalayan view even more dramatic. Some parts of the Himalayas in Manang, Mustang and Dolpo are in rain-shadow areas; the mountains are high enough to block the clouds. Tibet's high travel season also corresponds to Nepal's monsoon.