CLIMATE

Climate and Weather

Southern Bhutan has a hot, humid sub-tropical climate that is fairly unchanging throughout the year. Temperatures can vary between 15-30 degrees Celsius. In the Central parts of the country the climate cools a bit, changing to temperate and deciduous forests with warm summers and cool, dry winters. In the far Northern reaches of the kingdom the weather is cold during winter. Mountain peaks are perpetually covered in snow and lower parts are still cool in summer owing to the high-altitude terrain.

The Indian summer monsoon lasts from late-June through late-September and is mostly confined to the southern border region of Bhutan. It brings heavy rain and high humidity, to the southern region.  These rains bring between 60 and 90 percent of the western region’s rainfall

Annual precipitation ranges widely in various parts of the country. In the northern border region to Tibet gets about forty millimeters of precipitation a year which is primarily snow. In the temperate central regions, a yearly average of around 1,000 millimeters is more common, and 7,800 millimeters per year has been registered at some locations in the humid, subtropical south, ensuring the thick tropical forest, or savanna.

Thimphu experiences dry winter months (December through February) and almost no precipitation until March, when rainfall averages 20 millimeters a month and increases steadily thereafter to a high of 220 millimeters in August for a total annual rainfall of nearly 650 millimeters.

Autumn, from late September or early October to late November, follows the rainy season. It is characterized by bright, sunny days and some early snowfalls at higher elevations.

From late November until March, winter sets in, with frost throughout much of the country and snowfall common above elevations of 3,000 meters. The winter northeast monsoon brings gale-force winds at the highest altitudes through high mountain passes, giving Bhutan its name – Drukyul, which in the Dzongkha language mean Land of the Thunder Dragon.

Average Temperatures in Bhutan

It should be noted that average temperatures are recorded from valley floors. There can be considerable divergences from the recorded figures depending upon elevation.

Month

Values in Celsius

Paro

Thumphu

Punakha

Trongsa

Bumthang

Mongar

Trashigang

January

Max

9.4

12.3

17

13

10.8

15.5

20.4

 

Min

-5.8

-2.6

4.3

-0.2

-5.1

8.2

10.5

February

Max

13

14.4

19

13.9

10

15.9

21.7

 

Min

1.5

0.6

7.8

0.4

-1.4

8.3

11.5

March

Max

14.5

16.4

22.8

16.7

16.2

20

24.8

 

Min

0.6

3.9

10.4

4.4

3.5

11.6

14.4

April

Max

17.6

20

26.2

20.1

18.7

22.8

28.3

 

Min

4.6

7.1

12.9

6.6

3.9

14

17

May

Max

23.5

22.5

29.1

21

21.3

25.1

30

 

Min

10.6

13.1

17.7

11.6

9.5

17.4

22.6

June

Max

25.4

24.4

29.2

22.2

22.5

26.1

30.7

 

Min

14.1

15.2

20.1

13.6

13.5

19.5

22.6

July

Max

26.8

25.9

30.4

25.3

24.1

27.1

31.5

 

Min

14.9

15.6

20.5

15.3

13.6

19.8

23.1

August

Max

25.3

25

29.1

23.8

23

25.4

30.2

 

Min

14.7

15.8

20

15

13.7

19.6

22.7

September

Max

23.4

23.1

27.5

22.6

21.6

24.7

30

 

Min

11.7

15

19.1

14.2

12.1

19.4

21.9

October

Max

18.7

21.9

26.1

21.8

19.5

22.7

29.1

 

Min

7.4

10.4

14.7

11.7

5.9

15.8

17.7

November

Max

13.9

17.9

22.6

19.8

16.1

19.9

26.1

 

Min

1.4

5

9.6

6.4

-0.5

11.2

13.6

December

Max

11.2

14.5

19.1

18.2

12.3

17.7

23

 

Min

-1.7

-1.1

6.3

2.5

-2.3

9.5

11.6