Climate of Nepal
The climate of Nepal varies with its topography. It ranges from sub-tropical to an arctic type of climate depending upon the altitude. Nepal is divided into three geographical regions: The southern lowlands (Terai region), along the Indian border, with tropical savannahs and small hills. The Mid hills lie to the south of the Himalayas, and sub-tropical broad leaves dominate the lower elevation and temperate broad leaves and conifers on the slopes of the Himalayas. The mountainous region is home to some of the highest peaks in the world. Eight out of the thirteen highest peaks in the world lie in this region. The climate changes rapidly from sub-tropical to alpine within a short distance. The Terai is hot and humid, with temperature around 40°C in summer, and the mid-hills is pleasant with temperatures around 25°C – 27°C.
We can classify the climate of Nepal into six climatic regions:
The tropical zone is divided into lower tropical(below 300 m) and upper tropical(up to 1000m). This climate extends far upriver valleys across the middle hills and even into the mountain region.
The subtropical climate zone extends from 1,000 – 2,000 m. This climate is most prevalent in the mid-hills above the river valley. Most of Nepal’s population lives in the tropical and subtropical climate zones, which are well suited for cultivation.
The Temperate climate zone extends from 2,000-3,000 meters. This type of climate is found in the Middle Hills and throughout much of the Mountain region.
The Subalpine zone extends from 3,000 to 4,000 meters and is found mainly in the Mountain and Himalayan regions. It has permanent settlements in the Himalayas, but further to the south, it is only seasonal pasture for sheep, goats, and yaks.
The Alpine zone extends to 5,000 meters and occupies 8% of the country’s land area. There are very few permanent settlements above 4,000 meters.
The Arctic type of climate is found above 5,000 meters, and there is no human habitation or permanent settlements in this zone.
Nepal experiences four seasons:
- Summer/Monsoon Season(June-Aug)
- Winter(December- February)
- Spring (March-May)