Lhasa Weather and Climate: When is the Best Time to Visit Lhasa
You can travel to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, any time of the year. But the best time to visit the city depends on your intended activities. That’s because some seasons are better than others for some activities due to weather conditions.
Before we dive in, note that Lhasa lies on Tibetan Plateau, the world's highest plateau, at an elevation of 3,656 meters above sea level. But, it's still lower than most places in northern and western Tibet. So, expect to have different weather conditions than you probably got used to due to thinner atmosphere.
Lhasa Weather in January to March – Cold and Dry Months
January is the coldest and driest month in Lhasa. But it's still warm on sunny days. Also, the year's first month is in the middle of the dry season, featuring little rain and snow.
February and March are also cold and dry. But daytime temperatures are on the rise due to more hours of sunshine. You can expect up to 8 sunny hours a day during these months.
Lhasa weather chart and annual temperature
Lhasa Weather in April and May – Warm Days and Cold Nights
Spring kicks off in April, as well as tourist season, following the annual closure of the Land of Snows for Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It gets warmer during April and May than during winter months. But despite days being comfortably warm, nights are still cold.
With the approach of the monsoon season, rainfall also increases. However, precipitation is much lower at the Roof of the World, as Tibet is also called, than in most other monsoon regions.
Lhasa Weather in June and July – The Warmest Months
June and July are the warmest months in Lhasa, and they herald the start of the monsoon season. As time goes by, precipitation levels may rise from anywhere between 70 cm and 120 cm (27 in to 47 in) per month.
Air temperatures are at their highest, with maximum daily values ranging between 20°C and 23°C (68°F to 73°F). But nights tend to get cool, with average temperatures decreasing to 10°C/50°F, even lower sometimes.
Also note that UV (ultraviolet) radiation increases this time of the year, even though the Northern Hemisphere is farther away from the sun during summer.
Visit Jokhang Temple in the Tibet warmest July.
Lhasa Weather in August – The Wettest Month
With over 121 mm/47.2 in of rainfall, August is the rainiest month in Lhasa throughout the year. Rain falls almost daily. But on the bright side, it mostly falls during late evening or overnight. And while it can be detrimental for traveling, the landscape is lusher and greener this time of year.
Lhasa Weather in September – Precipitation and Air Temperature Drop
Come September, it gets cooler and rain slows down, dropping to some 70 mm/27 in during the month. If you visit the Tibetan capital and the surrounding region this time of year, you'll enjoy warm weather, lush countryside, and less rain. Still, the UV intensity is at its highest. So, apply sunscreen regularly to avoid sunburns.
The Yamdrok Lake is quiet and beautiful in September.
Lhasa Weather in October and November – Nice Weather
October and November are the best months for a visit to Lhasa. The weather's nice, warm, and dry, with over 9 sunny hours per day on average.
But note that nights tend to get cold, especially in November, with nighttime temperatures dropping below the freezing point. So, pack warm and layered clothing if you come to the Tibetan capital at this time.
Lhasa Weather in December – Cool Days and Cold Nights
Air temperatures are lower in December than they've been since February in Lhasa, especially during the night. But they're still high enough during the daytime to feel comfortable. Plus, the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region is still warmer than the northern and western parts of Tibet.
Sunlight makes December a great time to travel to the world's highest plateau. But take into account that the UV radiation is still high, so cover up and wear sunglasses to protect yourself.
Refer to our Lhasa climate chart to get a clearer picture of the Tibetan capital’s monthly weather conditions.
Summer Season （July-Aug） is the Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Summer is the right time for a tour of temples and monasteries in Tibet. You can visit the city's tourist hotspots and discover sacred and ancient temples in and around Lhasa.
Moreover, take a tour of the old town and stroll on Barkhor Street where you can browse souvenirs from various vendors. Also, go to the Lalu Wetlands west of the city to admire the world's largest wetlands in an urban area.
Winter Season (Nov-Mar): Wise Choice for Budget Travelers
Winter is the budget travelers' season in Lhasa. Also, it's the right time for visitors that avoid trips during peak times. As a result, you won't queue to visit monasteries, temples, and other attractions. Also, you're unlikely to find yourself surrounded by other sightseers.
What to Expect
The low season lasts from December to the end of January. And the common belief that it's too cold in Lhasa in winter is the main reason for that. The climate on the Tibetan Plateau can be peculiar, with cold nights and bright, sunny days. But with far fewer travelers than during other seasons around, you're sure to have a more rewarding trip.
Lhasa is sunny during the day in winter and is still suitable for tourism.
Fares and Discounts
In winter, you can benefit from lower airline and railway fares. Note that flying from Lhasa to Kathmandu, Nepal, or cities in China isn't especially affordable. But airline tickets for inbound flights (to the Tibetan capital) can be considerably cheaper. Still, you're sure to get a discounted train ticket for a trip to the world's highest plateau.
You'll also pay less for a hotel stay in the world's highest capital. Many hotels offer out-of-season booking discounts. Besides, you're likely to pay a lower price for a visit to several tourist attractions than in the high season.
For all these reasons, winter is undoubtedly the best time for a Lhasa trip for budget-conscious travelers. If you're one of them, check out our Tibet winter tours to maximize savings.
Spring and Autumn (April, May, June, Sept, Oct): We Strongly Recommend you to Come
Spring and autumn are clear and dry months on the world's highest plateau. Thus, they're ideal for enjoying the great outdoors and stunning high-altitude hikes and treks. You'll enjoy the best treks outside Lhasa, true. Some of the greatest are the trek from Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp (EBC) and Mount Kailash Kora.
Tibet Old Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trekking Tour in Autumn.
Still, you'll find exceptional trekking routes just outside the Tibetan capital city. The one you should try out is Ganden to Samye Monastery trek in Shannan Prefecture. It's one of the best routes in southern Tibet.
But if you prefer to stay near Lhasa, there's a trekking path just out of the city connecting many hermitages. You'll find them in the foothills of nearby mountains that abound with beautiful scenery.
How to Check Lhasa Weather Forecast
You can check Lhasa's day-to-day weather on various platforms, even major news sites like CNN and BBC. Some of them may even provide detailed forecasts for local Tibetan cities.
But you should check our official Tibet weather page for more in-depth information. Here, you'll find details about regular seasons and monthly weather conditions. If you need further insights and tips, get in touch with our professional advisors who will guide you through everything you need to know about the Lhasa weather during your trip.
More Information about Lhasa Weather
1. The capital of Tibet, Lhasa lies at an elevation of 3.656 meters above sea level, which is considered very high. It's not as high as Everest Base Camp or Mount Kailash, of course, not even nearly as high as the mountains surrounding the city are. Still, note that high elevations feature peculiar climates, and Lhasa is no exception.
2. Keep in mind that nights are much colder than days at any time of the year. So, even though you can have nice and warm weather during the day, nights tend to be considerably colder, even in summer.
3. Lhasa receives more rainfall than places in northern and western Tibet, which are higher and sheltered by the Himalayas. Still, it shouldn't trouble you since most of the rain falls in the evening and overnight, leaving you most of the day for uninterrupted outdoor activities. It tends to be humid due to evaporation, though, but days are still warm and comfortable, for the most part.
Lhasa Weather Wrap-Up
So, bring layered clothing whenever you visit Lhasa, but especially in winter or a shoulder season (fall or autumn). If you take one or two thick sweaters or jackets, they'll suit you at night but will likely make you feel hot in the daytime. You can take off layers easily, which will make you feel comfortable at whatever time of the day. And you won't need to carry heavy garments.
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