There is much variation in the climate of this region, but in general this region is very dry, with low humidity, strong winds, and relatively cold weather for most of the year. During all seasons, the high and low temperatures within a single day can face as large as a 20°C difference. Generally early mornings as well as late evenings and nights are fairly cold, while the middle of the day is fairly warm. Temperatures at night can drop dramatically, even in summertime. The sun's rays are strong and warm on this high-altitude plateau. In the wintertime, the plateau usually experiences cold but calm weather, with little snow except in the higher mountain ranges. Summer monsoon rains primarily occur in the southern and lower eastern regions. In many areas there may be sudden strong winds, causing severe dust storms. In general, several layers of clothing that are easily added or removed as the day progresses is a good idea, in order to stay comfortable both in the heat of summer days, and the chill of the nights. While this is a large region with significant variations in temperature by location, general temperature ranges during the daytime (i.e. not including the much colder nighttime temperatures) by season are as follows:


(June-August, with a mild rainy season in July & August)



Spring and Autumn

(March-May & September-October)







The Tibetan Plateau, located in southwestern China, is arrestingly majestic. Landlocked on all sides by imposing mountain ranges, the plateau is filled with fertile grasslands, incredible gorges, and headwaters of some of the world's greatest rivers. The southern border, which separates Tibet from the Indian subcontinent, is made up of the Himalaya Mountains, which extend for more than 15, 000 miles from the Karakorum mountains in the northwest to Mount Namchak Barwa in the southeast. Many of the world's highest summits are within this range, including Mount Everest (Jomolangma -- 8,848m) and numerous other peaks that top 7,000 meters. The northern border of the plateau includes the Kunlun Mountains, the Altyn Tagh, and the Chole Namgyel (Qilian) ranges, which separate the plateau from the deserts of Central Asia. 


The plateau has an average altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level and rolls out to cover an area of 2.3 million square kilometers. The plateau is traditionally divided into three main regions - Utsang, Kham, and Amdo. Utsang, or Central Tibet, contains the headwaters and river basin of the Brahmaputra River, as well as Mount Kailash, Mount Everest, numerous other sacred mountains and lakes, and the valley which cradles Lhasa, the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Kham, the southeastern division, is a highly mountainous region, with sacred peaks such as Kawakharpo and Minyak Kangri. This area also houses vast grasslands surrounding numerous major river basins. Amdo, in the northeast, is filled with fertile rolling grasslands, salt lakes, the Yellow River Basin, and the huge snowcapped peaks of the Amnye Machen range. 


Throughout the Plateau, there is a great diversity of terrain, ranging from rocky heights, arid deserts, rolling grasslands, deep river gorges, forested valleys, and alpine meadows, not to mention countless snow mountain peaks, rivers, waterfalls, high-altitude lakes, and caves. 


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