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Nepal has a diverse weather and climatic variation comprising mainly four seasons namely autumn (or fall), winter, spring, and summer (also monsoon). The seasons in Nepal are pretty much the same as that of Europe while quite contrasting to that of Australia. It is cold in December-January while in June-July you could do with just shorts and T-shirts. The climate of Nepal is moderate which means the winters are dry and summers are hot. Overall, the best tourist season in Nepal with summer passing and before the onset of winter is autumn or fall.
Autumn/Fall season (September – November)
Autumn season falls during the months between September and November when the weather is highly pleasant, so are the mountains views.
Spring (March – May)
Spring is also considered a good season and falls between the months of March and May. During spring, the temperature is mildly warm in lowlands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to encounter breathtaking mountain views.
Winter (December – February)
Winter falls during the months between December and February and is relatively cold. During these months there are comparatively less tourists in Nepal.
Summer (June – August)
Summer (also monsoon) falls during the months between June and August when it is quite hot and humid during daytime with occasional rain showers, sometimes all through the day. Summer or monsoon season lasts from around the end of May till the end of August or early September. About 80% of the rainfall occurs during this period throughout the country but the remainder of the year is dry.
Autumn and spring are the best seasons for white-water rafting or climbing. Similarly, winter as well as autumn and spring months are the best times for leisure tours, wildlife safari, culture tours, foothill trekking (below 3,000m/9,850ft.) though winters could be quite harsh. Summer or monsoon months can be considered for some city tours, volunteering works or culture tours. While in some areas of Nepal, summers are considered to be the best time to travel because these areas fall under the ‘rain-shadow’ regions and monsoon is much lighter here.
Like any other adventure trips or cultural holiday, the best time for leisure tours in Nepal is obviously during the spring season and autumn or fall season. During these seasons, the weather is pleasant with efficient sunlight and warmth. The sky is clear and allows travelers to truly enjoy the remarkable Nepalese landscape completely along with the panoramic Himalayan backdrops. Winter from December to February can be very cold at certain regions, but it a good time for your leisure vacation. From May onwards, the heat and humidity levels rise up until the arrival of monsoon season making it not a very good time to travel. The Terai regions in Nepal are generally very hot and humid during the summer months so planning a leisure tour in these regions during this time could not be as pleasurable as it would be during other months.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Nepal is during spring (March to May) and autumn or fall (September to November). During these seasons, the weather is pleasant with efficient sunlight and warmth. The sky is clear which means that you can truly enjoy the remarkable Nepalese landscape complete with the panoramic Himalayan vista. Coincidentally, these seasons are also considered the best time for adventure travel in Nepal. During the monsoon (June to August) although there will be no problem for trekking, the issue could be of less visibility and rain. But, for a keen botanist, monsoon is a blessing as the higher valleys, mountains and meadows blossom with flowers and abundant vegetation.
Trekking can also be done in winter (December to February) as well especially in the hilly regions, but as you reach higher elevations, it is much colder along with snowfall. If you don’t enjoy crowds, trekking during the monsoon or winter or choosing more solitary trekking destinations could be your options. Note that due to global warming, there has been a change in the regular climate worldwide and Nepal is no exception. Please stay prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions during your Nepal trip.
Just like hiking or trekking trips, other adventure trips in Nepal such as white water rafting, canyoning or bungee jumping can be done throughout the year although monsoon season may not be a good choice. However, for advanced rafters, monsoon would be good as the water level rises and violent currents can be experienced in its best form.
Summer, monsoon and late spring temperatures range from 28ºC (83ºF) in the hills to more than 40ºC (104ºF) in the southern plains. In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the plains range from a brisk 7ºC (45ºF) to a mild 23ºC (74ºF). The central valley regions experience a minimum temperature but not often falling below freezing point and a chilly 12ºC (54ºF) maximum during the winter.
Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate most of the year. Summer temperatures range from 19-27°C (67-81°F), and in winter temperatures are between 2-20°C (36-68°F). During the monsoon season in August, the average rainfall is between200-375mm (7.8-14.7 inches) in Kathmandu. May and June can be very hot and humid until the monsoon rains. In spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) the temperatures are pleasant with occasional short bursts of rain, while November to February are dry, but can be very cold, especially at night.