Tibet Weather in March

Plateau Climate of Tibet

At an average altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, the Tibetan Plateau is the highest plateau in the world. As a typical feature of a high-altitude location, Tibet has thinner air, lower air pressure and less oxygen. Tibet is within the middle latitude areas (26°50'~36°53'), even during the winter, so it gets an abundance of sun radiation; and about 80% of its rain in a year occurs at night. For this reason, Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, has been granted the name “city of sunlight.”

The annual temperature range is small, while the daily temperature range is relatively big. There is a large variation of temperature between day and night in Tibet, which is another typical high-altitude climate feature.

Yamdrok Lake in March
Yamdrok Lake in March

As an illustration, in June, the maximum temperature measured at noon can hit 29°C, while at dusk, the temperature drops distinctively which makes you feel like it is cool autumn rather than hot summer; and the lowest temperature after midnight can drop below zero. If you were in Tibet, you would agree with the comment “Four Seasons in One Day.” That may perfectly explain why you’d see Tibetan people wearing their traditional robe with one sleeve taken off during the warmest period of the day and then tightly put on the robe at sunset.  

From every October to April of the following year, it is the dry season in Tibet. The westerly jet sweeps across the upper level of the Tibetan Plateau, and the cold high pressure oversees the ground. As a result, these seven months are dry, windy, cold, and with rare sleet, rain or snow. The total precipitation of the dry season consists only of 10% to 20% of the annual amount of rainfall in Tibet. From May to September, the hot low pressure takes over the ground layer of the plateau. In the meantime, the southwestern monsoon reaches Tibet, bringing forth 90% of the annual rainfall to Tibet.

Past Weather Data in March, in Tibet

Cities/Data Lhasa Shigatse Nyingchi Shannan Ngaqu Ngari Chamdo
Ave. High 12°C 11°C 13°C Very similar with Shigatse Not advisable to visit in March Not advisable to visit in March Not open for foreign tourists
Ave. Low -3.2°C -5.4°C 0°C
Precipitation 2 mm 2 mm 16 mm
Humidity 21% 21% 30%
Sunrise (March 1st) 8:21 AM 8:30 AM 8:08 AM
Sunset (March 1st) 7:54 PM 8:03 PM 7:41 PM
Length of Day 11h33m 11h33m 11h33m
(March 1st)

Note: The above information is collected from historical data, so a differing weather pattern may occur.

March of Tibet Belongs with Nyingchi

March marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. The first floral scent that wakes up the dormant lifeforms of winter occurs in Nyingchi. As the warmest prefecture in Tibet, Nyingchi is most famous for its peach blossoms which bloom in March and April. The peach blossom trees in Nyingchi are hundreds of years old, and many of them live wild along the riverbanks. Quietly spreading a light pink painting, Nyingchi peach blossoms have a kind of beauty that is amazingly graceful and sweet. Thus, whenever talking about March in Tibet, Nyingchi and peach blossom come into the minds of domestic travellers. However, Nyingchi will definitely surprise you with more than just peach blossom. It contributes the largest forest-based sources of Tibet and is home to the beautiful Mountain Shergyla and Lulang Forest Sea. It is also home to the attractive award-winning peak Mount Namcha Barwa (7,782 meters).

If you are a plant lover, then welcome to Nyingchi. It is the plant museum of Tibet where you will be amazed by the ancient wild peach blossom trees. After that, you will get immersed instantly into the wonderland of alpine azalea, attractive blue poppy, giant cypress and fir trees, forest-edge meadows, and more.  

Nyingchi in March
Nyingchi in March

Weather Facts About Other Iconic Attractions in March

Here is a list of cities and towns that are basically suitable for visiting all year round. They are Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Shannan. They all have important status in Tibetan Buddhism and represent the ancient Tibetan civilization in various historical periods, which make them ideal destinations for a historical or cultural tour. As for travelling into the wild to reconnect with nature, you can visit the magnificent mountains, the Himalayas (Mount Everest), Mount Kailash, and the three sacred lakes (Yamdrok, Namtso, Manasarovar). Different weather conditions resulting from the various altitudes and locations should be considered.

Mount Everest in March: Though the temperature at the Everest Base Camp can drop to -11°C before sunrise, March is one of the best months to have a clear view of the world’s highest peak. It is also the first month of the year that is open to climbing teams to attempt their summit.

Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in March: The average temperature of Darchen, the nearest town to Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake, is still below zero in March, which varies from -10°C to 0°C. Although March has the strongest wind, the wind chill together with the low temperature makes people feel even colder. In general, we would not suggest touring Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in March.

Yamdrok Lake in March: Even in the height of winter, Yamdrok Lake doesn’t get completely ice-covered. Within the easy reach from Lhasa, as well as the high chance of clear days, visiting Yamdrok Lake is not only feasible, but it is also a great option.

Namtso Lake in March: Located in one of the coldest regions of Tibet, Namtso Lake in March is still almost completely frozen. The average low temperature in March at Namtso Lake is only -11°C, and the average high temperature in March hovers around 4°C. The heavy wind of March applies to Namtso Lake, which makes the coldness even harder to bear. It might be doable to tour Namtso Lake at the end of March. Please check the weather forecast and the availability of the scenic spot prior to making your tour reservation.

Namtso Lake in March
Namtso Lake in March

Relevant Tourism Policy about Traveling Tibet in March

Tibet had been closed to foreign tourists in March for 10 years, since 2008. But then, big change happened in March 2019 because foreigners were now allowed to travel to Tibet in March.

Related articles
Tibet Weather in November As the early winter in Tibet, November has the comfortable temperatures ranging from -5°C to 12°C, with dryer and clearer weather. You’ll feel warm in daytime because of the bright sunshine on the plateau as always!
Tibet Weather in December In December, the temperatures drop as low as -9°C at night. But you’ll also enjoy agreeable sunny weather during the day, with the highest temperature up to 9°C. A moderate tour in central Tibet would be a good choice.
Tibet Weather in October With the highest temperature up to 17°C, October is still a great time for Tibet travel. Sun cream is essential as the UV rays are strong all year around. Snows may block the way to remote areas from end of the month.
Tibet Weather in September Rainy season comes to an end from this month, and the weather is delightfully cool. Grab the last chance to travel to Tibet before Tibet gets cold. Just be aware of the huge temperature difference between day and night.
Tibet Weather in August Summer continues in August. You’ll enjoy a warm and pleasurable weather while traveling in Tibet. On the other hand, August has the heaviest rainfall throughout the year, so an umbrella should be in your packing list.
Tibet Weather in July Here summer comes! The temperature can get as high as 23°C in daytime. However, it will drop below 10°C at night. So, don’t forget to bring a jacket or sweater for nights. A down coat is also needed for the Everest tour.

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