The climate of Bhutan
The geographical position of Bhutan
, nestled in the eastern Himalayas between China to the north and India to the south, plays a significant role in its climate and weather conditions. Contrary to the "ET" Köppen climate classification which corresponds to a Tundra Climate, Bhutan experiences a greater diversity in weather patterns due to its complex topography and altitude variations. Mean annual temperatures seldom dip below freezing, but regions with higher altitude can see large temperature ranges within a day. Precipitation, primarily rainfall, is moderate and most pronounced in the summer months with annual totals averaging 350mm. During winter, drier conditions prevail, often with sporadic snowfall in the upper reaches. With days frequently cloudy, the country experiences temperatures from 15°C to 18°C in summers, although the average temperature of the warmest month is less than 10°C.
The best time to visit Bhutan
Spring and autumn, from March
respectively, provide the most favorable periods to visit Bhutan
. These seasons present pleasant weather, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C, offering splendid panoramas of the mountains and lush valleys. Springtime is particularly vibrant, with blooming rhododendrons painting the landscapes, while autumn showcases clear skies and exquisite autumnal hues. These periods are also when the country hosts most of its significant religious festivals, enhancing the cultural experience for visitors.
The worst time to visit Bhutan
The least ideal time for a visit to Bhutan
is the monsoon season, running from June
. During this time, the country experiences heavy rainfall, leading to slippery roads and occasional landslides, which may hamper travel plans. The consistent cloud cover also limits the scenic views of the mountains and valleys. Additionally, temperatures tend to be high and humidity levels increase, reaching uncomfortable levels particularly in the southern parts of the country.
Spring weather in Bhutan
, the spring season runs from March
, bringing mild weather with average temperatures between 10°C to 20°C. This period is characterized by bright, sunny days with occasional rainfall, promoting the growth of vibrant flora across the valleys. The higher altitudes are still relatively cold but the snow begins to recede, revealing green pastures. At this time, the country's unique biodiversity is on full display with a riot of colorful flowers blooming, notably the national flower, the blue poppy.
Summer weather in Bhutan
Summers in Bhutan
, from June
, are characterized by high temperatures and abundant rainfall. Temperatures during these months can rise up to 25°C, particularly in the lower valleys. However, as one ascends towards the mountain regions, the temperatures tend to drop, providing relief from the heat. This season also marks the onset of the monsoons, with precipitation levels reaching their peak, contributing to lush green landscapes.
Autumn weather in Bhutan
Autumn, stretching from September
, offers a reprieve from the summer rains and is marked by clear, sunny skies. During this season, the country experiences mild weather with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C. This is an excellent time for trekking with visibility at its best, offering stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayas. The valleys and forests transform with the changing leaves, creating a picturesque landscape filled with hues of gold and red.
Winter weather in Bhutan
Winters in Bhutan
, from December
, are typically dry and cold. While lower regions experience temperatures between 5°C and 15°C, the high-altitude areas endure sub-zero temperatures. There is occasional snowfall in these regions, adding to the chilly conditions. Although the days are sunny, night temperatures can plummet drastically. Despite the cold, this season offers clear views of the Himalayas, with the snow adding a majestic touch to the scenery.
Weather in January
marks the peak of winter in Bhutan
, with cold conditions prevalent across the country. Average temperatures typically hover between -2°C to 10°C, with the high-altitude areas witnessing sub-zero temperatures consistently. Weather in January »
Weather in February
marks the transition from the harsh winter to the more pleasant spring in Bhutan
. The country starts to experience a gradual increase in temperature, although cold weather conditions still prevail. Average temperatures typically fluctuate between 0°C to 15°C during this month. In cities like Thimphu and Paro, temperatures begin to rise slightly, ranging from 0°C to 10°C. Weather in February »
Weather in March
As the advent of spring, March
shedding the remnants of winter and welcoming warmer weather. Average temperatures rise significantly, ranging from 5°C to 20°C, with mild climate conditions extending across the country. Cities like Thimphu and Paro in the western-central region experience milder weather, with temperatures fluctuating between 5°C and 15°C. Weather in March »
Weather in April
is characterized by the full bloom of spring, with the weather turning noticeably warmer. The average temperature now lies between 10°C to 25°C, varying across different regions of the country. Cities like Thimphu and Paro continue to experience mild and pleasant weather. Weather in April »
Weather in May
marks the onset of the pre-monsoon period in Bhutan
, with a noticeable increase in temperature and humidity. Average temperatures during this month range between 15°C and 30°C, depending on the region. In Thimphu and Paro, temperatures typically vary from 15°C to 25°C. Weather in May »
Weather in June
signifies the commencement of the monsoon season in Bhutan
, with a substantial rise in both temperature and precipitation. Average temperatures in this month typically oscillate between 20°C and 30°C. In cities such as Thimphu and Paro, temperatures generally vary from 15°C to 25°C. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is the heart of the monsoon season in Bhutan
, exhibiting the highest precipitation levels of the year. The temperatures during this month typically fluctuate between 20°C to 30°C across the country. In the cities of Thimphu and Paro, the temperature generally varies from 15°C to 25°C. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is the tail end of the monsoon season in Bhutan
, with rainfall beginning to subside towards the end of the month. The temperature during this month generally ranges between 20°C to 30°C across the country. In the cities of Thimphu and Paro, the temperature usually varies from 15°C to 25°C. Weather in August »
Weather in September
marks the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of autumn in Bhutan
. The weather becomes more stable, and the temperature generally fluctuates between 15°C to 25°C across the country. Cities like Thimphu and Paro experience milder weather, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C. Weather in September »
Weather in October
is characterized by the full onset of autumn, offering clear skies, cool temperatures, and minimal rainfall. Average temperatures during this month usually range between 10°C to 20°C across the country. In cities like Thimphu and Paro, October offers comfortable weather with temperatures typically varying from 10°C to 15°C. Weather in October »
Weather in November
signifies the transition from autumn to winter in Bhutan
. The weather grows colder, with average temperatures typically fluctuating between 5°C to 15°C throughout the country. In the cities of Thimphu and Paro, the temperatures usually range from 5°C to 10°C. Weather in November »
Weather in December
marks the beginning of the winter season. The weather is characterized by a significant drop in temperature, with averages usually ranging between 0°C to 10°C across the country. In Thimphu and Paro, the temperature generally fluctuates between 0°C and 5°C. Weather in December »