Nepal: Weather Overview
Nepal; surrounded by the land of South Asia, could be said to have a comparatively mild climate. As it is bounded by the People's Republic of China to the north and India to the south, east and west, the Himalayan mountain range runs across Nepal's northern and western parts also giving the region a characteristic sub-artic climate. Having eight of the world's ten highest mountains situated within its boundaries, including the highest, Mount Everest, Nepal is a world famous tourist destination all-year round.
Nepal typically has two seasons - the dry season from October to May and the rainy, monsoon season from June to September. Early spring; March to April and late autumn; October to November are the best times to visit, and also present the clearest mountain observations and high-quality weather for trekking. The months of December to February features high ranges of snow on the mountains while temperatures classically fall below freezing point at the higher altitudes. The typical summer months from June to August can be very hot and are recommended for visiting the country.
The start of the dry season is in many ways the absolute best time to visit Nepal. Furthermore, the weather is still balmy. The weather will start to get chilly towards the beginning of November while once December arrives it could be said winter is well in progress.
Also known as the monsoon season, Nepalâs climate is relatively warm throughout these months. The summer monsoon, a strong flow of humid air from the south begins after the pre-monsoon season. The entrance of summer is known to vary throughout all regions of Nepal however it does normally take place around the beginning of June and comes with powerful thunderstorms and an excellent display or lightening, commonly ending toward the end of September. On the other hand, when drawn outbreaks in the summer monsoon occur; severe drought and food shortage often result.
The post-monsoon season originates with a slow extraction of the monsoon. By mid-October, the series is almost non-existent. By this time, the harvest is completed and locals are in a festive mood; also a great time for visiting the country.
After the post-monsoon, comes the winter monsoon, a strong north-easterly flow. At this time the amount of precipitation results in the northeast land winds differing significantly but also inclines with elevation.
The Himalayas, which lie to the north of the country acts as an important factor influencing Weather in Nepal. The gigantic Himalayas play an important role in shaping up the weather of Nepal. It blocks the north-westerly winds weighed down with moisture which causes much of the rain in the summer. During the winter months, this mountain peak prevents the cold, dry air originating in Central Asia from entering the country which enables Nepal to generally enjoy warm winter weather.
Nepal has five climatic zones, generally equivalent to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200m, the temperate zone 1,200m to 2,400m, the cold zone 2,400m to 3,600m, the sub-arctic zone 3,600m to 4,400m, and the Arctic zone
Tropical and Subtropical Zone
The tropical/sub-tropical zone experiences mild winters and hot, humid summers. Due to the nearby active vertical uplift, there is plentiful rainfall and during summer periods, thunderstorms can occur every day.
Because a considerable part of the Sunâs heat is used up in evaporation and rain formation, temperatures in Nepal in the tropics rarely exceed 27°C; a daytime maximum of 24°C is more common. At night minimum temperatures fall no lower than approximately 19°C.
The temperate climate of Nepal is one without extremes of temperature and precipitation variance. The alterations between summer and winter are generally stimulating without being gallingly extreme. Since the prevailing winds are westerly in Nepalâs temperate zone, the western edge of the country in this areas experience a much milder climate averaging around 20°C all year round. The temperature increases inland, with warmer summers and colder winters.
Being far away from the moderating influences of the ocean, the cold zone in Nepal usually experiences mild summers and colder winters. This zone is often found to be relatively dry; most of the moisture carried by air masses originating in the midst of the mountains. Through the summer temperatures will generally stay around 16oC and during the winter will drop to approximately 9oC.
Nepalâs sub-arctic zone has brief, cool summers and bitterly cold winters. This region can experience the lowest temperatures outside of Antarctica and the largest annual temperature range of any climate. Though the summer is short, the day length is quite long. Daytime temperatures can rise above 15oC while dropping to 4oC during the evening.
The total annual precipitation in this zone is fairly minimal, amounting to no more than 380mm to 500mm over the year. The summer precipitation is three times that of winter.
Temperatures in the Arctic Zone are below freezing throughout the year and annual temperature ranges are large but again not as large as in the continental sub-arctic climates. Although this region is much too high to have locals residing, winters are off-putting, with average monthly temperatures from -20°C to -25° C. On the mountains, precipitation can occur near the surface and may appear as ice fogs.