March 5, 2012
Many people are reluctant to travel to Tibet because they imagine the weather to be really harsh and cold. But it’s not that bad, really! Temperatures are suitable for travelling between April and November, for some areas the best time to go is August and September, when much of the rest of Asia is drenched by monsoon rains. The Himalayan ranges shelter the high plateau on which Tibet lies from the worst of the rains. Most of the annual rainfall is still during that time, but usually at nights. In Lhasa, the climate is slightly different and makes travel possible all year round.
Due to the high altitude, temperatures in Tibet are usually quite chilly. From Autumn to Spring you should always be prepared for the possibility of snowfall (as well as occasional warmer days!). In summer the days are usually warm and sunny, the nights are cool. At above 4000 metres even summer days can be chilly. The sunlight in Tibet is very strong, but the warmth doesn’t keep for very long after the sun has gone.
In August, landslides are common on the Friendship Highway that links Lhasa and Nepal. This can disrupt and delay travel in summer. Early May and early October are the best times to visit Mount Everest from the Tibetan side. In these months temperatures are pleasant and views clear. From December to February it gets extremely cold in this area. Mount Kailash is best visited between May and October. Northern Tibet, due to its very high altitude, only has a very small window of pleasant weather in July and August, whereas Eastern Tibet is best avoided at this time due to the monsoon rains.