Weather

FAUNA AND FLORA OF LADAKH

The Himalayan Alpine climate varies according to the elevation. It gets colder as the elevation increases and gets wetter as the elevation drops. As a result the temperature and climatic changes in the Himalayan regions change very quickly. All of a sudden there can be occurrences of monsoons, floods, high winds, snowstorms and other types of precipitation, which makes the climate over here quiet an unpredictable and dangerous one.

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WEATHER:

The two major seasons of the Himalayan region are winter and summer. During the winter the region receives the maximum snow with very icy temperatures. Summers are quiet mild over here, making the places over here quiet good summer holiday hideouts. Usually throughout the year the Alpine Himalayan region receives snow. The regions such as Ladakh & Zanskar that lie to the North of the main Himalayan range and escape the full impact of the monsoon. Humidity is always low in these regions, and receives only a few centimeters of rainfall a year. These regions also experience some of the coldest temperatures anywhere in the world, and it doesn’t get any warmer till the spring season in late April or early May.

In June, daytime temperatures frequently rise to the mid 200Cs, the snow on the passes melts and most of the treks can be undertaken from then on until the middle of October. Heavy rainstorms can occasionally be experienced in July and August, and River crossing should be undertaken with great care at this time. By September the conditions are ideal, and they normally remain so until late October even though nigh-time temperatures may fall below freezing. By November, the early winter snows fall on the passes closest to the Himalayas. In winter the villagers still travel, enduring the intense cold, to follow the valley floors where River crossings are no longer a problem.

After October the daytime temperatures drop, but the weather is generally settled until the middle of November when the first of the heavy winter snows fall on the high mountain passes.

Winter months from December to March are often bleak. April and May are characterized by heavy precipitation, which falls as snow in the mountains, precluding trekking over the passes until the spring snows melt in June.

Most of the hill states of the West Himalayas including Kangra and Chamba, the Kullu valley, Shimla in Himachal and most regions of the Garhwal and Kumaon in Uttaranchal come under the influence of the Indian monsoon. Both Darjeeling and Sikkim are subject to the Indian monsoon that sweeps up from the Bay of Bengal, bringing heavy rainfall from early June until the end of September. The post-monsoon months of October and November provide settled conditions, with clear views of the mountains, although nighttime temperatures above 3,500m frequently fall below freezing.