At an altitude of 3650 meters (11,975 feet),Lhasa
is one of the highest cities in the world. It has a highland temperate semi-arid monsoon climate. Lhasa enjoys the reputation of a “sunshine city” because the annual sunshine time reaches 3,000 hours. The air in Lhasa is low in oxygen, necessitating a short period of acclimatisation upon arrival, particularly for air travellers. The climate of the city is mild, without severely cold winter or hot summer. The annual average temperature is about 8 degrees Celsius, with a significant variation in temperature between day and night.
The annual rainfall is 500 mms and the rainy months are from June to September. “Night rain” is a unique phenomenon in Lhasa because rain usually falls at night. During the day, it is generally sunny, but at night it rains, washing away the heat and dust of the day.
Summer and Autumn are the most comfortable time in Lhasa; from March to October, the climate becomes mild and humid and is the best season for travel in Tibet. The Spring and Winter in Lhasa are dry and windy.
Climate Data Table for Lhasa
What to wear
Despite the amount of sunlight in Tibet, there is a significant daily difference in temperature; so it is chilly at night even if the day is sunny. Most hotels in Tibet have no central heating, so bringing Winter clothes would be wise. Even if it is a T-shirt and jeans day, it is recommended that you carry an overcoat as the temperature can fall suddenly. Sunhats, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion are necessities. To avoid sun-burn in this high-altitude area, it is suggested that you wear sunglasses, sunscreen lotion and lip balm or chap-stick as the wind can be cold and dry.