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Tibet Temperature by Month: Find the Best Time to Travel

July,11 2024 BY Pasang 0 COMMENTS

Perched on the spine of the world, Tibet boasts a unique highland temperature and climate. Understanding the Tibet weather by month helps you make the wise decision to visit Tibet for the desired activities with an ideal temperature and weather.

So, in this tutorial, we detail the Tibet temperature by month and list the top things to do each month in popular destinations of Tibet to help you find the best time to travel.

What Is Tibet's Temperature Like? Thin & Crisp Air, Windy, Intense UV Rays, Rapid Temperature Change, etc.

Tibet's climate and temperature are shaped by its high altitude and mountainous terrain. It's not always freezing, but the alpine climate only has a short summer with low average annual temperatures and very little precipitation, esp in western Tibet.

At an average elevation of 4,380m, the thin, dry air isn't able to retain heat. You can experience all four seasons in one day with the drastic temperature changes between day and night. The thin air offers little protection from the sun, and high UV levels are present year-round.

Blue sky and amazing Mount EverestOur guests enjoy blue sky and amazing Mount Everest vista at EBC.

Tibet Can Be Visited All Year Round: Here Are the Seasonal Highlights in Tibet

Spring in Tibet lasts from March to May. Temperatures gradually warm up from the harsh winter conditions to reach pleasant daytime weather. It's an especially good time for trekking, with clear skies and lots of sunshine.

During spring, Tibet has fewer tourists than in summer, and it's an ideal time to visit Everest Base Camp or trek around the holy Mount Kailash.

Summer (June to August) is the warmest, and liveliest period in Tibet. Throughout the summer in Tibet, daytime temperatures can rise above 20°c, and occasional rain leads to lush vegetation and higher oxygen content in the air. It's a peak season for domestic tourism, so the costs of hotels and tours can be higher. However, it's a prime time for seeing Tibetan festivals and exploring the serene holy Tibetan lakes.

Drepung Monastery Shoton FestivalShoton Festival thangka unfolding in Drepung Monastery.

September to October ushers in the autumn season in Tibet. Similar to spring, the skies are clear, and the temperature is cool and pleasant. It is considered one of the best times for all outdoor activities across Tibet, esp for Tibet trekking, self-drive, Tibet bike tours, and viewing Mount Everest at EBC, etc.

Lasting from November to February, winter in Tibet is harsh and cold. High-elevation and remote western regions can experience double-digit negative temperatures, and even the relatively mild Lhasa regularly drops below zero in the daytime.

However, It is also one of the most beautiful and budget-friendly times for a Tibet tour. The winter air is piercingly clear, and the snow-covered landscapes are a magical sight. With few tourists visiting, you can stay in luxury hotels in Tibet with more affordable deals, and embrace a more immersive Tibetan experiences.

Visit Sera Monastery monks debate in winterTravelers have great fun traveling in Sera Monastery and watch monks debate in winter.

Tibet Temperature in January: Temperature -10°C to 5°C (14°F to 41°F)

Winter is in full swing throughout January. Except for a few locations like Ngari and Nagchu, it's not always below 0°c, but it is cold. Lhasa is not crowded, and it's a great time to immerse yourself in exploring Tibetan monasteries and pilgrimages.

It tends to be mild and has lots of indoor attractions like Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. EBC is cold, but there is no better time than winter for amazingly clear views of the peak.

Dress for the cold. Layers are best for winter weather. Start with a thermal base layer and, a down jacket, warm pants, and a shirt, etc. A sweater and fleece jacket are essential, along with a windproof outer shell. Don't forget a warm hat, gloves, and trekking boots for rough terrain on the Tibetan Plateau. Browse through the affordable Tibet winter tours.

January average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 7 6 8 8 4 -1 9 -9
Min. °C -10 -13 -5 -9 -17 -16 -8 -21

Travelers touring Potala Palace in winterTravelers touring Potala Palace in winter.

Tibet Temperature in February: Temperature -8°C to 7°C (17°F to 45°F)

February is slightly warmer than January but still cold. Evening temperatures are well below 0°c in most areas, and the wind can make it feel colder. February has the same small crowds and great visibility as January, plus a major festival. Losar, Tibetan New Year, is one of the most important cultural celebrations for Tibetan people. Enjoy the festive atmosphere and attend Buddhist ceremonies at Sera Monastery or Drupeng Monastery.

February average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 9 8 10 10 4 -2 11 -5
Min. °C -7 -10 -3 -5 -15 -16 -5 -17

celebrate Tibetan New Year in LhasaLocals celebrate Losar, Tibetan New Year in Lhasa.

Tibet Temperature in March: Temperature -5°C to 10°C (23°F to 50°F)

Spring begins to hit parts of Tibet in March. Some areas, like Nyingchi, warm up enough to not drop below 0°c. The Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival is an excellent way to welcome the warm weather with the beautiful sea of peach flowers. The trekking season kicks off with more comfortable weather, but it's important to pack for variable weather.

March average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 12 11 13 13 7 -1 13 0
Min. °C -3 -5 0 -2 -12 -15 -2 -12

Tibet Temperature in April: Temperature 0°C to 15°C (32°F to 59°F)

April is a prized month of the shoulder season. Crowds of tourists remain small, so good deals can still be found, while daytime weather is comfortable for trekking and outdoor activities.

It's a great time to enjoy crystal-clear views of Mount Everest from EBC. Lake Namsto starts to melt from the long winter freeze for beautiful and tranquil scenery. Adventure lovers can take advantage of the pleasant conditions for the three-day trek around Mount Kailash.

Nighttime temperatures can still drop below freezing in some areas. Layered clothing is essential to stay comfortable in both the highs and lows.

April average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 16 16 17 17 10 5 16 5
Min. °C 1 -1 3 1 -5 -12 1 -6

Tibet Temperature in May: Temperature 5°C to 20°C (41°F to 68°F)

In the lead-in to summer, only a few areas still see evening lows below 0°c. The biggest highlight in May is the Saga Dawa Festival. Held to commemorate the events in the life of Buddha, it is one of the most sacred festivals in the Tibetan calendar and the most auspicious time for the trek around Mount Kailash. Join the pilgrims walking the kora route around the sacred mountain and see the celebrations in Darchen.

After a few months of warmer weather, the mountain passes are clear in May. It's a perfect month for the overland trip between Lhasa and Kathmandu. The trip travels across the Tibetan Plateau and traverses the Himalayas. It includes an overnight stay at EBC, with great visibility for views of the peak.

May average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 19 20 19 20 15 15 20 9
Min. °C 5 3 7 5 0 -3 5 -1

Tibet Temperature in June: Temperature 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F)

June is the beginning of summer, and pleasant weather arrives all over the Tibetan Plateau. There are no more freezing temperatures, even at night, and daytime highs can reach over 20°c.

The holy Yamdrok and Namsto Lake are in full grandeur with their azure waters, and festival season is in full swing. The Tashilunpo Thangka Festival takes place in Shigatse, with rituals and the unveiling of a massive thangka painting. Head to Shannan for the elaborate masked and costumed cham dancing in front of Ütse in Samye Monastery.

June average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 23 22 21 23 17 18 24 14
Min. °C 9 8 10 9 5 4 7 2

Tibet Temperature in July: Temperature 12°C to 27°C (54°F to 81°F)

July is a peak month for tourism in Tibet, with domestic travelers taking advantage of the school summer holidays. The region is warm and has vibrant greenery, especially in places like Lulang Forest. Monsoon weather brings some increase in rain and fog which can obscure views of Everest.

Festivals continue around the region. Gyantse holds its famous Gyantse Dharma Horse Racing Festival where you can see impressive displays of horsemanship. In and near Lhasa, the Drepung Festival and Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival are more opportunities to participate in local culture.

July average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 22 21 22 23 16 21 24 18
Min. °C 10 9 11 10 8 7 10 6

Horse Racing Festival in DamxungHorse Racing Festival in Damxung in summer.

Tibet Temperature in August: Temperature 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F)

The peak season for warmth and tourism continues in August. You'll want to be outdoors, taking part in festivals and celebrations for the upcoming harvest. In Lhasa, the Shoton Festival at Drepung Monastery is a chance to see beautiful thangka paintings and yogurt banquets. More horse racing festivals are held in Damxung and Nagchu where the traditions of nomadic life live on.

In farming areas around Tibet, the Ongkor Festival is held to celebrate the bumper harvest. Tsedang is a great place to see the festivities, which include costumed celebrations, dancing, horse racing, and traditional games.

August average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 21 20 22 22 16 18 22 16
Min. °C 9 8 11 10 6 6 9 3

Tibet Temperature in September: Temperature 5°C to 20°C (41°F to 68°F)

September brings the return of crisp outdoor weather that is perfect for all kinds of activities. The summer crowds disappear, and it's one of the best times to visit EBC. If you missed Mount Kailash Kora during Saga Dawa, September is another good time to go. Summer rains can make the trails muddy, but they dry out again by this time.

With all the scenery to see, self-driving tours are popular in September. Whether it's the journey to EBC or exploring the grasslands north of Lhasa, driving conditions are perfect. The scenery on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is also great. Tickets in the summer are very difficult to secure, but more seats are available in September.

September average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 20 19 20 21 12 15 19 11
Min. °C 8 6 9 8 -7 5 8 1

Tibet Temperature in October: Temperature 0°C to 15°C (32°F to 59°F)

October weather is very similar to September, with crips, comfortable days, and clear skies throughout the month. Everything worth doing in Tibet is worth doing in October. With the cultural sites of Lhasa and Shigatse, EBC, the holy lakes, trekking, and Tibet overland tours, there is no wrong choice. Be aware that October 1st is a national holiday in China, so there is a surge in tourism at the beginning of the month. Book extra early if you plan on going at that time.

October average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 16 15 17 17 7 5 19 4
Min. °C 1 -1 5 2 -12 -5 4 -5

Tibet Temperature in November: Temperature -5°C to 10°C (23°F to 50°F)

The good and bad of November is that prices and temperatures start to drop. Mount Kailash is closed to trekkers until April next year, but everything remains accessible. Monasteries take on a more intimate and authentic atmosphere with more pilgrims than tourists present.

The Lalu Wetlands around Lhasa fill with migratory birds from the north of Tibet for a special treat for bird watchers. Evenings and mornings can be cold, so pack accordingly. Check the Tibet birding tours available.

November average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 11 11 13 12 7 1 12 -1
Min. °C -5 -8 -1 -4 -12 -15 -5 -13

View Black Necked Crane in Lhasa Lalu WetlandView Black-necked cranes in Lhasa Lalu Wetland in winter.

Tibet Temperature in December: Temperature -12°C to 8°C (10°F to 47°F)

There is no denying that winter is fully present in December. Nyingchi and Chamdo may still see some double-digit highs, but the temperature is cool to cold everywhere else.

You can better soak up Buddhist culture in the quiet Tibetan monasteries with few tourists around. The Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival at Ganden is a highlight this month. Brilliant displays of glowing butter lamps light up the area. It remains a good birding season around Lhasa. Migratory birds enjoy the milder conditions at Zongjiao Lukang and the Lalu Wetlands. Pack your best cold-weather gear for being outdoors.

December average temperature in Tibet by region

Temp. Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Tsedang EBC Ngari Chamdo Nagchu
Max. °C 8 7 10 8 4 -2 10 -7
Min. °C -9 -12 -5 -8 -15 -17 -9 -19

Conclusion

The dynamic weather in Tibet is both a challenge and a delight for travelers. It's essential to choose the right time to enjoy the activities you want, but the changing conditions throughout the years mean there is always something new to experience. Our expert travel consultants are on hand to advise you on the best time to go. Contact us anytime for more information, and start planning your Tibet tour today.

Pasang

About the Author - Pasang

Exceedingly approachable, attentive, and knowledgeable, Pasang exemplifies what a top-notch local Tibetan guide can be. Based on his 20+ years of guide experience, Pasang knows how to flexibly rearrange a traveler’s itinerary to make it comfortable for travelers during long rides. He always checked in with each traveler to make sure they were feeling well due to the altitude.

Besides, Pasang’s encyclopedic knowledge of Tibetan culture & history helps travelers easily navigate through the mysterious Tibetan monasteries and old streets, etc. When Pasang unwinds, he also enjoys sharing his expertise by writing travel articles.

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