Tibet Weather and Climate
The sunshine in Tibet is very strong and has a very long duration. Tibet is known as the place in China that receives the most solar radiation. The hours of sunshine throughout the year in Lhasa are 3005 hours, 2.4 times as in Chengdu and 1.5 times as in Shanghai, so Lhasa is called “Solar City”.
The air pressure and air density of Tibet are very low, as the air pressure decreases very quickly with the increase of height. And Tibet is very cool in summer and very cold in winter. Annual range of temperature is small while its daily variation is very large.
The terrain in Tibet is very complex, since the weather changes with the terrain, the annual average temperature of Nakqu is two degrees centigrade below zero, however in Lhasa is 7.5 degree centigrade. In Lhasa, The extreme maximum temperature in summer is 29.4 degree centigrade, which is the condition of Chengdu in March, and the minimum temperature in winter is 16.5 degree centigrade below zero, which is even 0.8 degree higher than Hankou. The annual temperature change in Tibet is very small, because in winter the cold air from north is blocked by the plateau and its northern mountains and the forces are greatly weakened; in summer the clouds and rains make the temperature very cool.
The rain season in Tibet is from June to September when 90 percent of rains fall during this period. The rainfall varies greatly in different areas, like in Lhasa the annual rainfall is 454 mm, and in Garxian is only 60 mm. During rain season, heavy rains fall in some certain areas and in Qamdo, while in Lhasa and Shigatse rain mainly falls at night.
From November to May of next year is the wind season in Tibet except the northeastern area. The strongest winds appear between February and March. Gale days in Lhasa last 27 days per year.
Weather is an important element you should consider if you want to visit Tibet. Winter is long and summer is really short in Tibet. From July to September every year is the best time for traveling in Tibet. In some certain areas the time may varies, like in Qamdo and other inaccessible areas the best time is May, June and September; in Ngari the best time is in spring and autumn. In Nyingchi the most beautiful scenery appear in fall. In northern Tibet as wind sand blows greatly in spring, the most favorable time is in autumn, but the time is very short. As long as no snow falls in winter, you can also choose the time in winter.
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