Weather & Climate

Weather & Climate

weather & climateNepal is the country of extremes. Weather and climate of Nepal varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from Tropical to Arctic. The low-land plains of the Terai can have tropical temperatures and the Himalayas can get to zero temperatures. The Terai region, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, has a hot and humid climate. The hill, mid-hills and particularly the Kathmandu valleys are pleasant with warm summers and cool winters almost all the year round. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3300 m has an Alpine climate with a considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected but the sun can blaze during the day, even in the mountains.

Nepal has five climatic zones based on altitude that range from subtropical in the south, to cool summers and severe winters in the north. There is annual rainfall with seasonal variations depending on the monsoon cycle, which provides 60 to 80 percent of the total annual rainfall: 2,500 mm (98.5 in) in eastern part of country; 1,420 mm (56 in) around Kathmandu; 1,000 mm (39 in) in western Nepal.

Monsoon in Nepal is not the typical monsoon of Asia. Rains usually occur during the night-time and early morning mountain views can even be had in this season. The rainy season is from July to August. Sub-Tropical climate and Alpine climate areas are dissected by deep valleys, formed by run-off from the monsoon and snow melt-water. Temperature ranges between maximum of 37 and minimum of 6 degree Celsius in the plains, 28 and 2 degree Celsius in the Kathmandu valley and 16 and 6 degree Celsius in the mountains.

Seasons:

Nepal has four seasons in a year. The best periods of the year are Autumn and Spring season.

Autumn

The autumn season is in the months of September, October and November. This season offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. At this time of the year its normally very pleasant weather, clear skies, best of the best trekking season. This is the best period for trekking and traveling in Nepal.

Winter

This season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations. Hence it is ideal for trekking at lower elevations, generally below 3000 meters. The winter season is in the months of December and January. Snows are collected heavily on the high hill above 2000 meters. It’s pretty cold at night, foggy morning but clear and pleasant day.

Spring

The spring season is in the months of March, April and May. This season is normally dry, warm, very less rain. Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside above 5000 meters a haunting paradise during this season. It is mildly warm at lower elevations and at higher elevation over 4000 meters the mountain views are excellent and temperature is quite moderate. At this time of the year you will enjoy trek with aromas of Rhododendrons and wild orchids.

Summer

The summer season is in the months of June, July and August. Heavy rainfall occurs from June until the beginning of August. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. But weather will take its shape from the 15th of August.

Temperature Chart

Months Kathmandu Pokhara Chitwan
Max. Min. Max. Min. Max. Min.
January 19 2 20 8 24 7
February 20 4 21 8 26 8
March 25 8 27 11 33 12
April 30 11 30 16 35 18
May 30 16 30 19 35 20
June 30 20 30 20 35 23
July 29 21 30 21 33 24
August 29 20 30 21 33 24
September 27 19 29 20 32 22
October 23 15 27 18 31 18
November 23 4 23 11 29 12
December 20 2 20 8 24 8

Note: All the temperature is in Degree Centigrade.

Rainfall Chart

Months Kathmandu Pokhara Chitwan
January 25 15 10
February 25 15 10
March 75 30 10
April 50 50 15
May 100 300 200
June 225 575 300
July 290 635 375
August 360 700 450
September 175 575 400
October 50 220 100
November 10 20 5
December 10 5 5

Note: All the rainfall is in Millimeters.

weather & climateIt’s hard to generalize about the climate of a country ranging in elevation from near sea level to Mount Everest. About the only thing that can be said is that all but a few parts of Nepal are governed by the same monsoonal pattern, with temperatures varying according to elevation (see chart). Five seasons prevail in Nepal, but these are not mere meteorological divisions: when-ever you choose to go, you’ll have to weigh weather against other factors, both positive (mountain visibility, festivals, wildlife) and negative (crowds, disease).

Probably half of all tourists visit Nepal in the autumn (October to November), and for good reasons. The weather is clear and dry, and temperatures aren’t too cold in the high country nor too hot in the Tarai. with the air washed clean by the monsoon rains, the mountains are at their most visible, making this the most popular time for trekking. Two major festivals also fall during this season. The downside, however, is that the tourist quarters are heaving and hustly, it’s hard to find a decent room, you’ll waltages for food and for trekking permits, and people are short on ready smiles and chat.

In winter (December and January), the snow line descends to 2.000 – 3000m and though it never snows in Kathmandu, the “mists of India” make the capital feel cold and clammy (especially in unheated budget lodgings). Most travelers head down into India, leaving the trekking routes and guest houses fairly quiet too quiet, sometimes, as many restaurants pare down their menus for the season.

Spring (February to mid-April) brings warmer temperatures, longer days, weddings and more festivals. The rhododendrons are in bloom in the hills towards the end of this period, and in the Tarai the thatch has been cut, making this the best time for viewing wildlife. All of which creates another tourist crush, albeit not quite as bad as in the autumn. The one factor that keeps people away is a disappointing haze that obscures the mountains from lower elevations, though it’s usually possible to trek above it.

The pre-monsoon (mid-April to early June) is stifling at lower elevations, and dusty wind squalls are common. People get a little edgy with the heat; this is the time for popular unrest, but also for the Kathmandu Valley’s great rain-making festival. Trek high, where the temperatures are more tolerable.

Nepal is welcome the monsoon (June to September), which breaks the enervating monotony of the previous months, and makes the fields come alive with rushing water and green shoots. The rains rinse and renew the land. This can be a fascinating time to visit, when Nepal is at its most Nepali, but there are many drawbacks: mountain views are rare, leeches come out in force along the mid-elevation trekking routes, roads wash out, flights get canceled, and disease runs rampant as the rising water table brings the entire contents of Kathmandu’s sewers to the surface.

Climate

weather & climateNepal’s climate varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from tropical to arctic. The Terai region, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot, humid climate. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,300m has an alpine climate with a considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.

Temperature and Rain Fall

Realize that Nepal is the country of extremes. The low-land plains of the Terai can have tropical temperatures and the mosquitoes to go with them. The Himalaya’s can get to sub-zero temperatures, but the sun can blaze you during the day, even in the mountains.

To be prepare, it really depends on your travel plans. Check out VisitNepal.com sponsors to see what is recommended to bring in each given season for your specific travel plans.

Monsoon -The Wind that brings Rain in Nepal

Monsoon is the name of the wind that brings rain to the Indian sub-continent, including Nepal. Here is how it is formed. The Indian sub-continent becomes warmer than the surrounding Indian ocean in summer. The result is that the continent becomes the center of rising warm air. When the warm air rises it creates low pressure. Therefore winds start flowing toward Indian sub-continent from the Indian Ocean. This wind from the ocean are filled with water vapor.

Sketch – The water loaded wind moves towards north. When the clouds carrying water comes closer to the Himalayas, the are forced to rise by the mountains. The water vapor condenses as it rises pouring heavy rains in Nepal. The moisture carried by the winds condenses as snow on the higher elevation of the Himalayas.

Climates of Nepal

The hill, mid-hills and particularly the Kathmandu valleys are pleasant with warm summers and cool winters. Temperature ranges between maximum of 37 and minimum of 6 degree Celsius in the plains, 28 and 2 degree Celsius in the Kathmandu valley and 16 and 6 degree Celsius in the mountains. The rainy season lasts from June to August. From October to February, woolen sweaters, Jackets or similar other warm outfits are necessary. Shorts or long- sleeved shirts are good in March through May. From June to September, light and lose garments are advisable.

MAXMIUM – MINIMUM TEMPERATURES

In degrees Celsius; (* Rainy season)

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Kathmandu 19-2 20-4 25-8 30-11 30-16 30-20 30-21 29-20 27-19 23-15 23-4 20-2
Pokhara 20-8 21-8 27-11 30-16 30-19 30-20 30-21 30-21 29-30 27-18 23-11 20-8
Chitwan 24-7 26-8 30-12 35-18 35-20 35-23 33-24 33-24 33-22 31-18 29-12 14-8

 

Season

The popular time to visit Kathmandu is August through December. Medium-weight and easy to wash cottons can be a good choice year-round in the Kathmandu valley. It is recommended that between October to February, woolen sweaters, jackets or similar other warm outfits are necessary. For months from June to August, it is recommended that you bring an umbrella or raincoat and a pair of sandals with you as these months are the rainy months in the Kathmandu Valley. Expect lot of walking even if you don’t plan to trek. So it’s recommended that you bring comfortable footwear: sneakers and sandals are the best.

Autumn (Sept-Nov):

This season offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views.

Winter (Dec-Jan):

This season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations. Hence it is ideal for trekking at lower elevations, generally below 3000 meters.

Spring (March-May):

Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside above 5000 meters a haunting paradise during this season. It is mildly warm at lower elevations and at higher elevation over 4000 meters the mountain views are excellent and temperature is quite moderate.

Summer (Jun-Aug):

Summer months, continues up to mid September making travel wet and warm. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation.

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