Climate

Geographically Tibet plateau is known as roof of the world or third pole of the earth, with average altitude of 4950m above the sea, the Tibet plateau is bounded by two mighty ranges, where Himalayan range consist of the world highest peak Mt.Everest situates from south to west and Thanggula ranges in the north, alpine terrain conditions severe, dry and continental climate in Tibet, with strong winds, low humidity, a rarified atmosphere and a huge fluctuation in annual and summer daytime temperature. The Tibetan plateau is exposed to an unhampered cool artic air from the north; while the southern tropical and equatorial air masses barely penetrate the Himalayan barrier into Central Asia. The strong heating of the earth surface during the summer months and the freezing in winter produces clear seasonal variations in atmospheric circulation and enhances the role of local centers of atmospheric activity.

The atmosphere is severely dry for nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only 18 inches, due to the rain shadow effect. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversable all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout the western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation beyond the size of low bushes, and where wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter.

Below are the annual temperature tables of major cities in Tibet for clear understanding of the Tibet climate distinction.

Climate table of Tibet major cities in comparison

Place Name Average Annual Temperature
(C°)
Average Monthly Temperature
(C°)
Altitude North Latitude
Lhasa 7.5 -2.2 3658 29°42″
Tsedang/Samye 8.3 -0.7 3500 29°15″
Gyantse 4.7 -5.1 4040 28°55″
Shigatse 6.3 -3.8 3836 29°13″
Damshong 1.3 -9.9 4200 30°29″
Nakchu -1.9 13.9 4507 31°29″
Tingri/Dingri 0.7 -11.3 4300 28°38″
Nyintri(Bayi) 8.6 -0.2 3000 39°33″
Pomi 8.5 -0.2 2750 29°52″
Chamdo 7.6 -2.5 3240 31°11″