Sara and John say...
Welcome to the top of the world! (Well almost!) While the jagged Himalayas tower over Tibet, the flatter plateau that’s the trademark of this vast mystical land is still deceptively high. In fact altitude is THE big factor in the climate of Tibet.
Let’s start in spring, a popular time for visiting. Much of the landscape is emerging from its frozen cocoon, and the dazzling sunshine is steadily turning ice into water and barren scree into flower-meadows. The views are stunning! Snow still falls at higher elevations; but, as the thaw gathers pace across the plateau, days can become very warm by May - reaching the low 20s at the capital, Lhasa. But don’t be fooled - nights often dive well below freezing - so pack accordingly.
Summer is warm but often cloudier, with quite frequent showers, especially across the east of Tibet. While sunshine is less constant, thanks to the altitude, it is VERY strong and will soon burn. So protect your skin and your eyes. And watch out for midges too!
After the peak of the rains in July and August, Tibet emerges into sunnier skies through the early autumn months. Days can still be very warm in September, but the crisper air of October and early November makes this a favourite season for visitors - whether seeking spiritual solace or hoping to glimpse Everest. Nights are growing rapidly colder though.
The winter is long and cold. Across the plateau, most days are dry, sunny but a near-constant wind adds to the chill. Even the hardiest trekkers desert the higher Himalayan routes at this time, when snowstorms bring deadly peril. This is not a time to roam the mountains!
But by late March, the sun is warming the ‘roof of the world’ again and Tibet welcomes us with open arms.