Climate of Nepal

Climate of Nepal - Winter in Himalayas

Nepal offers amazing trekking experiences around all seasons. While climate of Nepal may be unexpected or unfavorable at times, there are numerous trekking options for you in all of the seasons.

Nepal experiences variations in climatic conditions with change in geography. Despite being a small country, the altitude of Nepal ranges from 75m all the way to 8848m (Mt. Everest) from the sea level. Due to this, the climate of Nepal varies within a small difference in altitude or geography. The climate of Nepal ranges from tropical to arctic climatic zones. There is an average change of 6°C temperature with 1000m change in altitude.

Geography, Altitude and Climate of Nepal

Geographically, Nepal is divided into three geographical regions; Terai, Hills and Mountains. Terai lies in the southernmost part of Nepal, Mountains are the northern Himalayas and what lies in the middle is the Hilly region. The southern region of Nepal has a subtropical climate and the northern part experiences an alpine climate. As you travel more towards the North, the altitude increases and the temperature starts to drop.

Terai, Hills and the Mountains are for general understanding of the geography of Nepal. The more detailed version of geographical division of Nepal according to geography and climatic zones is as follows.

Zone/RegionAltitude (in meters)% of Total Area Covered
Tropical Zone
Below 1000m18%
Sub tropical Zone1000m-2000m22%
Temperate Climatic Zone2000m-3000m12%
Subalpine Zone3000m- 4000m9%
Alpine Zone4000m – 5000m8%
Nival Climatic ZoneAbove 5000m

The Terai region(southernmost part) of Nepal is mostly hot except for winters. Temperatures in Terai (southern flatlands) can go up to 40 degree celsius in summer and can go as low as 5°C in winter. In hilly regions like Kathmandu, the summer temperatures range from 19 degree celsius to 35 degree celsius and 2 degree celsius to 15 degree celsius in winter. The temperatures in mountain regions (Himalayas) can go several degrees below 0 in winter and up to 20 degree celsius in summer. 

Climate of Kathmandu

Climate of Kathmandu is characterized by its elevation ranging from 1200m – 2300m in the Warm Temperate Zone. Generally, the city has cool mornings and nights with warmer days. January is the coldest month in Kathmandu with an average high temperature of 19.1 degree celsius and low temperature of 2.4 degree celsius. Whereas, the hottest month is June when the average high temperature is 29.1 degree celsius and low temperature of 19.1 degree celsius. The rain falls for around 110 days and July is the month with the most rainfall in Kathmandu. Additionally, the November is the month where rain is least expected in Kathmandu.

Quick Fact on climate of Kathmandu: The highest temperature in Kathmandu ever recorded was 33.5 degree Celsius in the month of June 2019, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division.

Seasons in Nepal

Nepal experiences four different seasons. 

  • Autumn (September  – November)
  • Winter (December – February)
  • Spring (March – May)
  • Summer (June – August)

Autumn Season

Autumn in Nepal starts in September and ends in November. It is the best time of year to Travel to Nepal. Weather of Nepal in October is perfect to trek around the country as the average daytime temperature are around 20 degree celsius. The views are pleasant and tourists get to witness both the cultural and natural aspects of Nepal. Autumn is the festive season as the main two festivals of Nepal (Dashain and Tihar) lie in this season.

The temperature around this season is normal and there are fewer chances for rainfall and snowfall. This makes Autumn favorable for trekking and tours around most areas of Nepal. The days are warm but not hot and temperatures normally range from 20 °C to -5 °C. The temperature is warm around the day and colder at nights in most trekking areas of the Himalayas. 

Best Autumn Treks in Nepal
Best Autumn Tours in Nepal

Winter Season

Winters are miserably cold in the higher altitude and there are chances of snowfall in these areas. Trekking to altitudes around and above 4000 meters is closed or at least not recommended in winters. Trekking in Nepal around winter season demands a high level of preparation but if you are highly experienced and love to travel in snow this is the season for you. Winter season offers clear sky, bright sunny days, cool weather and amazing mountain views and for this, short and easy treks to the Hills are recommended in this season. 

Climate of Nepal - Winter Season
Winter in the Himalayas
Best Winter Treks in Nepal
Best Winter Tours in Nepal

Spring Season

Spring starts in February and ends in March in Nepal. During the season, southern areas (Terai) of Nepal are warm and higher altitudes are moderate in temperatures. Higher altitudes may also experience snowfall. Trekking is highly recommended in this beautiful and colourful season. There are chances of thunderstorms and rainfall in this season. Visibility may not be clear at all times and sudden weather changes are expected to some extent. Spring is the best season to trek in Nepal and to avoid rainfall & extremely hot days.

Best Spring Treks in Nepal

Travelers across the world come to Nepal for Peak climbing in this season as the weather and topography are fairly suitable.

Best Spring Tours in Nepal

Summer Season 

Summer in Nepal starts from May till August. The days are usually hot and wet in Nepal. Around 80% of the rainfall occurs in summer. New vegetation starts to decorate the environment. The weather in the mountains is unpredictable in summer. Trekking or travelling around Nepal in monsoon needs a lot of experience. Rainfall can cause floods and landslides around different parts of the country which makes travelling more difficult this season. 

Best Monsoon Treks in Nepal
Best Tours for Monsoon Season in Nepal

Best Time of Year for Trekking in Nepal

Nepal offers amazing trekking experiences around all seasons. There are numerous trekking options for you in all of the seasons. However, the best time of year to travel Nepal is around Spring and Autumn season. Winter and summers offer extreme climatic conditions but even these seasons offer experiences that can not be overlooked. The spring and autumn seasons are considered the best season for trekking in Nepal. Nepal’s variation in geography provides travellers with numerous options for treks and tours.  Moreover, it can be concluded that Nepal has something amazing to offer for travelers around all seasons.

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