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The Weather in Bhutan cannot be generalized because of its mountainous landscape. The geographic coordinates of Bhutan are Latitude 27.5 N and Longitude 90.5 E. A tad more than the imaginary Tropic of Cancer, which pronounces the tropical climate as an inevitable conclusion. Bhutan lies at par with New Delhi in India, Cairo in Egypt, and Miami in the USA. Bhutan being in the same latitude as these cities, one may think Bhutan may be hot, and to some of its location in the Himalayas, one may think, Bhutan will be cold, conversely, it experiences very pleasant weather throughout the year due to the elevation of the valley. Except for southern regions that border the plains of India, and the northern frontier with Tibet, the middle valleys where most people live and tourists visit, enjoy a pleasant temperate climate with moderate changes between winter and summer.

Altitude is one notable factor that determines the weather, especially for places of interest like Thimphu, Paro Punakha, Wangdi, Bumthang, and places in eastern Bhutan like Mongar, etc. The weather can vary due to elevation changes. For instance, Punakha and Wangdue (1300m) are warmer than Thimphu (2300) and Bumthang (2580 m) is colder than both, which is due to variations in altitude.

Another factor that influences the Climate of Bhutan is an annual seasonal cycle, which brings climatic changes in the annual cycle. As a whole, the climatic conditions vary from sub-tropical in the south to Alpine in the north. Climatic conditions in Bhutan can be broadly categorized into four;

What is the Latitude and Longitude of Bhutan?

The geographic coordinates of Bhutan are Latitude 27.5 N and Longitude 90.5 E.

What kind of climate can be expected in Bhutan due to its latitude?

Due to its latitude, Bhutan can be expected to have a tropical climate. However, its mountainous landscape results in pleasant weather throughout the year in most regions.

How does altitude affect the weather in Bhutan?

Altitude is a significant factor that determines the weather in Bhutan. Places with higher altitude, like Bumthang, have colder weather compared to lower-altitude places, like Punakha and Wangdue.

What are the four broad categories into which climatic conditions in Bhutan can be classified?

Climatic conditions in Bhutan can be broadly categorized into four types: subtropical monsoon climate in the south, cool temperate climate in the central regions, cold alpine climate in the north, and warm temperate climate in the east.

Which places in Bhutan have a pleasant temperate climate?

The middle valleys of Bhutan, where most people live and tourists visit, enjoy a pleasant temperate climate with moderate changes between winter and summer.

Bhutan Temperature Chart

Spring Season:

It starts from March to June, the southern regions experience typical sub-tropical weather like hot and humid conditions. Whereas in Thimphu, Paro, Bumthang valley has warmer days with cool nights and clear blue sky. It is noticeably warmer in Punakha & Wangdi valleys. This period also offers time windows to do high-altitude treks like Jhomolari, Dagala, Druk path, etc. Rhododendron and wildflowers blooms surround the trails whilst trekking, especially at higher elevations. And also most likely to see wildlife as well, they come out from hibernation after cold, long unforgiving winter.

Bhutan in Spring

Summer Monsoon:

The beginning of July marks the advent of southeast monsoon till earlier September. Bringing much relief after the scorching summer heat in the southern belt. And a boon to farmers for the cultivation of their seasonal crop mainly Rice. The rain in the valleys like Thimphu, Paro Punakha, etc is relatively far less in proportion in comparison with the southern belt. Southern regions are in the first range to confront moisture-laden southeast monsoon so it shed the bulk of its moisture in these regions. And also the valley in the west and central Bhutan fall under leeward or rain shadow side, which makes the rain reach in fairly less proportion. It carpets the valley and surrounding vegetation with greenery. This period brings the trekking to a complete standstill as the trails get wet, slippery, and muddy.

A village in Monsoon

Autumn Season:

It normally starts from the tail end of September till November, when the weather tends to slowly stabilize after the monsoon. The sky starts to get clearer with the warm autumn sun and continues offering a spectacular view of far-off peaks.
These months are considered the best time for Trekking, these periods make conditions favorable for trekking with accessible high passes and stable temperatures. it throws open small windows of time in a year, specifically, for the epic Snowman trek. As for other high-altitude trek like Dagala, Jhomolari, and Druk Path, it is the best time as well.

Bhutan in Autumn

Winter Season:

It starts from December till February. Specifically, it’s the time of year when night tends to get cold with the day being warm with bright sun. Blue winter skies serve as a striking background to the snow-capped peaks., however, the higher passes like Docula, Pele La, and Chele La experience snow but the valleys remain bereft of heavy snow with an occasional light dusting of it. The possibilities of heavy snow remain only if there is a sudden and dramatic change in temperature.

Higher passes remain closed due to snow so a high-altitude trek becomes a distant dream during winter, however weather in lower altitude places like Punakha experiences a pleasant climate. It becomes a favorable time to do low-altitude winter treks like Samtegang and Nabji Korphu.

Bhutan in Winter