A colder winter this time

With temperature dropping by 2-4 degree Celsius in five Dzongkhags across the country, the winter this time has been colder compared to the last one.

This is as per the winter analysis graphs for five Dzongkhags done by the National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM).

Bhutan recorded four snowfalls till date with the lowest temperature this winter at -11 degree Celsius on January 1 and 16 in Haa, followed by Gasa on January 15.An engineer from NCHM’s Weather and Climate Services Division, Tayba Buddha told Business Bhutan that temperature will improve only by the end of February.

“We are still not over with the winter season,” he said.

Tayba Buddha said the first snowfall on December 18 occurred due to the peripheral effect from the cyclonic storm named “PHETHAI” that developed over the Bay of Bengal.

“The good moisture incursion from Bay of Bengal caused heavy snowfalls over western and central Bhutan and also due to the western disturbance for other snowfalls,” he added.

Bhutan received four snowfalls as of now.

Meanwhile, the winter season in Bhutan starts from December and lasts until February. Generally, temperature starts to drop from autumn, while transitioning from summer to winter and the temperature is expected to increase across the country from spring season as we make transition from winter to summer.

Tayba Buddha said a long spell cold wave condition has been prevailing over the region and that there is drop of 2 ° – 4 ° C below the normal (1996-2018) over the country.

“Since the winter starts from December till February for Bhutan and we are still in the mid of winter season, the temperature is expected to be in this condition,” he said.

Tayba Buddha Tamang said feeble western disturbance is observed due to this system and thaht partly to mostly cloudy weather is expected across the country with possibility of light snowfall in isolated places in northern and western parts of the country.

Meanwhile, depending on the altitude, the climate varies from semi-tropical to alpine (for every 1,000m height increase, the temperature drops by about 7 degree Celsius). In Southern Bhutan, the climate is tropical in the monsoon season and temperature may range from 15 degree Celsius in winter to 30 degree Celsius in summer. The east is also warmer than the west.

The centre also enjoys a sub-tropical climate with very cool winters, while the northern parts of the country have harsh climate including snowfall two to three times every winter.

In Thimphu, the temperature ranges from -2.5°C in January to 25°C in summer with a rainfall of 100mm. In the high mountain regions, the average temperature varies from 0°C in winter to10°C in summer, with an average of 350mm of rain.

Tshering from Thimphu