Weather in Tibet means winters that can be extremely cold, but summers that are cool and generally conditions are not as harsh as many imagine. Intense sunlight makes days warm while nights tend to be cool, sometimes chilly. It is dry for much of the year and there is very little rain, or even snow, in spite of Tibet being known as the ‘Land of Snows’. Tibet weather leaves and average annual rainfall of only 450 mm, much of this during July and August, and snowfall averages about 18 inches a year.
Temperature can vary dramatically in Tibet and you can sometimes experience four seasons in a day. So carry warm clothing even if it is summer. Marked regional variations are also there – northern and western areas are colder (annual temperature of 0 °C) and more arid while southern and eastern areas have lower altitudes and record higher temperatures (annual average of 8 °C) and receive more rainfall.
The best time to tour Tibet is between April and October which include the summer months (May-September) when the temperature can reach highs of 29 °C. During monsoon (July- September) travel in the southern and eastern regions of Tibet can be difficult, though, because of bad roads. Winter (November-March), when temperature averages -2 °C and snow closes many mountain passes making travel difficult, is the least preferred time to tour Tibet.
Do be prepared for strong sunlight in Tibet, so sun glasses and ultraviolet protection is recommended. Clothing for all seasons and a hardy pair of shoes are also essential items. If you are prone to altitude sickness, carry pills; and remember to get yourself acclimatised in your hotel in Tibet before you travel to higher altitudes.