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Climate of Nepal

Posted On:Saturday, May 21, 2022
Climate of Nepal

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

Nepal experiences variations in climatic conditions with changes 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 a 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, the 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 a general understanding of the geography of Nepal. The more detailed version of the geographical division of Nepal according to geography and climatic zones is as follows.

Zone/Region Altitude (in meters) % of Total Area Covered
Tropical Zone Below 1000m 18%
Subtropical Zone 1000m-2000m 22%
Temperate Climatic Zone 2000m-3000m 12%
Subalpine Zone 3000m- 4000m 9%
Alpine Zone 4000m – 5000m 8%
Nival Climatic Zone Above 5000m

The Terai region(southernmost part) of Nepal is mostly hot except for winters. Temperatures in Terai (southern flatlands) can go up to 40 degrees 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 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees Celsius in winter. The temperatures in mountain regions (Himalayas) can go several degrees below 0 in winter and up to 20 degrees Celsius in summer.

Climate of Kathmandu

The climate of Kathmandu is characterized by its elevation ranging from 1200m – to 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 degrees Celsius and a low temperature of 2.4 degrees celsius. Whereas, the hottest month is June when the average high temperature is 29.1-degree celsius and the low temperature of 19.1 degrees celsius. The rain falls for around 110 days and July is the month with the most rainfall in Kathmandu. Additionally, November is the month where rain is least expected in Kathmandu.

Quick Fact on the climate of Kathmandu: The highest temperature in Kathmandu ever recorded was 33.5 degrees 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. The 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 favourable 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 night in most trekking areas of the Himalayas.

Best Autumn Treks in Nepal
  • Everest Base Camp Trek – 15 Days
  • Annapurna Base Camp Trek -13 Days
  • Manaslu Circuit Trek – 19 Days
  • Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek – 23 Days
Best Autumn Tours in Nepal
  • Beyond Kathmandu Valley Tour – 4 Days
  • Patan Durbar Square 1 Day Tour
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square 1 Day Tour

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 the 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. The Winter season offers a 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.