Namtso is Tibet's second largest lake and second largest saltwater lake, after Siling Lake. One third of Namtso Lake is in Damxung County(4,300 meters); Two thirds of Namtso Lake is within Bange County(4,700 meters). Namtso Climate is defined by a distinct wet season (June to October) and dry season (November onwards to May). The average annual precipitation is 410 mm.
Because of the barrier effect of mountains, Namtso Lake are without the reach of Indian Ocean current. Frigidity dominates most of a year here. The annual average temperature lingers around 0 degrees Celsius. And there is no frost-free season here. The climate type is Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Sub-frigidity Zone-Semi-arid and Monsoon Climate.
Namtso Lake is in the transition zone of Sub-humid and Semi-arid zones. There are abundant sunshine, heat, and water resources. The air pressure is at low level, with air density of 0.73 kg/m³. The annual sunshine hours are about 3,000 hours, similar with the figure of Lhasa. The percentage of possible sunshine rate is over 65%.
Great possibility of windy weather is another outstanding feature in the watershed of Namtso and the surrounding area. Compared with the average weather data of Damxung County and Bange County, the gale days in the past years at average are: Damxung--73.8 days per year; Bange--85.5 days per year. And the gales happen concentratively in the period from December to May. 79.4% of gales in Damxung and 71.7% of gales in Bange occur during these six months. As to daily situation, gales are more likely to come in the afternoon and dusk time, when the wind power on the surface of lake water is especially fierce. The dominant wind direction in Namtso region is southwest wind.
Namtso Lake in Summer
When looking for the general weather condition of Namtso Lake, we search and analyze the data based on the two counties nearby. As mentioned above, Namtso Lake administratively belong to Damxung County and Bange County. The fact is, more specifically, we'd focus on the three iconic attractions in Namtso Lake Scenic Spot, which are Nagenla Pass(5,190 meters), Tashi Peninsula(4,718 meters) and Holy Elephant Heaven Gate(4,718 meters). We exclude the weather info at Nagenal Pass, as this mountain pass is still 54.7 kilometers away from the lakeshore, and that's not where the tourists stay for most of the time. Therefore, the weather of the rest two sightseeing spots, Tashi Peninsula and Holy Elephant Heaven Gate, holds the reference significance for the travel weather of Namtso Lake.
Now please check the detailed average weather data-Temperatures and Rainfalls
Technically, the Namtso Lake Scenic Spot is open all year round to tourists, even in the winter months. However, the occasional inaccessibility lies in the road block from extreme weather such as snow disaster. Thousands of tourists would have to head back when road blocks happen.
October and November: Heavy snows are frequent. The road between Damxung to Namtso Lake and the section near Nagenla Pass within the scenic spot are especially in ill condition, covered with thick snow up to 18cm. Dangerously low visuality is another hazardous consequence. If your schedule is only available within this period, it might still be okay to go. We can contact the Scenic Spot management to check the short-range weather forecast.
Icebound Season: Normally, the lake surface gets frozen from mid-November and won't be thawed until late April. But in 2019, uncommonly, the lake got frozen earlier than usual, which was in the early November.
June to September: This is the four-month long wet season of Namtso Lake region. Though it has the most rainfall, it's the best time to visit Namtso Lake.
Namtso Lake in Winter
Warm clothing and waterproof shoes are the most important things on the pack list of a Namtso tour. And since the wind is harsh at the mountain pass and the lakeshores, windproof jacket, face mask or neckerchief/shaw/scarf, are also essential. Last but not the least, to protect your exposed skin and eyes from strong UV radiation is also vital, given that most tourists arrive at the lakeshore at noon or early afternoon, when the UV index is at the biggest level of a day. Sun hats, face mask(again) or anything that can cover your face, sunblock with SPF 50+, long-sleeved clothes even in summer noon time, and sunglasses are all useful.