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Bhutan Weather – Thimphu

Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and largest city. It can be found in the country’s western central part, with the surrounding valley also named as Thimphu District. Like most of the country, the climate in Thimphu is mild and generally warm and temperate and is classified as a Cwa by the Koppen-Geiger system. The city has an average annual temperature of 11.6 degrees Celsius (61.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and sees an average rainfall and precipitation of 1,599 mm.

The city gets its lowest minimum temperature of -2.8 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) in January and the highest maximum temperature of 21.6 degrees Celsius (70.9 degrees Fahrenheit) in July. Average minimum temperatures in Thimphu range from -2.8 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) to 13.8 degrees Celsius (56.8 degrees Fahrenheit), while average maximum temperatures can range from 10.6 degrees Celsius (51.1 degrees Fahrenheit) to 21.6 degrees Celsius (70.9 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bhutan generally has five distinct seasons in a year, although it can also depend on the area. The Indian summer monsoon, which could mean rains in the western region and rains plus humidity in the southern region, begins from late June to late September and is mostly experienced in the country’s southern border region. The country’s dry spring starts in early March until mid-April. Summer follows and lasts until late June, which also brings summer rains and can be more monsoon-like in the southwest border region. Autumn — characterised by bright, sunny days and early snowfall for the mountainous regions occurs from late September or early October to late November. And lastly, winter sets in from late November until March, which brings frost and snowfall, and even gale-force winds in higher elevations.

At the same time, Thimphu has two distinct seasons: wet and dry season.

Wet season: Thimphu experiences its wet season in the months of June to September, when average rainfall ranges from 215 mm to 364 mm, with July considered as the wettest month. During these months, average minimum temperatures can range from 12.1 degrees Celsius (53.8 degrees Fahrenheit) to 13.8 degrees Celsius (56.8 degrees Fahrenheit), while average maximum temperatures range from 20.6 degrees Celsius (69.1 degrees Fahrenheit) to 21.6 degrees Celsius (70.9 degrees Fahrenheit).

Dry season: Thimphu’s dry season runs from October to April, when average rainfall ranges from 4 mm to 90 mm, with December getting the least amount of rainfall. May can be considered a transition month between both seasons as it gets 164 mm of rainfall. Average minimum temperatures can range from -2.8 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) to 6.9 degrees Celsius (44.4 degrees Fahrenheit), while average maximum temperatures range from 10.6 degrees Celsius (51.1 degrees Fahrenheit) to 18.7 degrees Celsius (65.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Also, note that winters in Thimphu can be freezing, so travel during the winter months of November to February is not recommended.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Thimphu is from mid-September to end October and from March to May — when the weather is relatively warm and pleasant. These months are also the best time to visit the district’s fortress-monasteries.

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