Lhasa Weather and Climate
Located at an altitude of 3650 meters, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world and has a highland temperate semi-arid monsoon climate. Lhasa enjoys the reputation of a “sunshine city” because the annual sunshine time in Lhasa reaches 3,000 hours. The air in Lhasa is low in oxygen, necessitating a short period of acclimatisation upon arrival, particularly for air travellers.
The climate of Lhasa city is mild, without severely cold winter or hot summer. The annual average temperature is about 8 ° C, with a significant variation in temperature between day and night. The annual rainfall is 500 mms and the rainy months are from June to September. “Night rain” is a unique phenomenon in Lhasa because rain usually falls at night. During the day, it is generally sunny, but at night it rains, washing away the heat and dust of the day. Summer and Autumn are the most comfortable seasons in Lhasa; from March to October, the climate becomes mild and humid so it is the best time to travel Tibet. The Spring and Winter in Lhasa are dry and windy.
Spring is from March to May. It begins to warm up, but there are still alternative low temperatures. It is sunny, dry and windy. Long-sleeve shirts, light sweater and jackets should be prepared.
Summer is from June to August. It is sunny and relatively humid with some rainfall. There is big difference of temperature in day and night, from hot to chilly. Prepare summer clothes, but also prepare jacket or sweater for variation of weather. Summer is the season filled with many festivals and celebrations.
Autumn is from September to October. It is one of the best seasons for traveling to Lhasa, with the weather being pleasantly mild and relatively humid with some rainfall. Prepare long-sleeve shirts, sweater and overcoat.
Winter is from November to February, with dry and windy weather. The sun often shines high and bright in winter. Much fewer people visit Lhasa in winter. Actually Lhasa has no severely cold winters if you look at the record winter temperatures. Prepare winter clothes such as down jackets, pullovers and sweaters. Sun protection, moisturizer and lip balms are advisable because of the strong sun and dry weather.
What Should Bring and Wear
Despite the plenty of sunlight in Tibet, there is a significant difference in temperature in day and night. It is chilly at night even if the day is sunny. Most hotels in Tibet have no central heating, so bringing winter clothes would be wise. Sunhats, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion are necessities. To avoid sun-burn in this high-altitude area, it is suggested that you wear sunglasses, sunscreen lotion and lip balm or chap-stick as the wind can be cold and dry.