Geography & Climate of Bhutan

Bhutan’s climate is as diverse as its land.Depending on the altitude, area and the amount of sunlight, the climate can range from bitter cold to a humid, hot tropical climate. The precipitation that Bhutan gets comes between the months of June to September and averages for the year about 25 inches (650 mm).

A small country covering a little over  38,394 sq.km, Bhutan’s land is very varied.72 percent of the country is under forest cover and its landscape consists of a succession of lofty and rugged mountain ranges separated by deep valleys. Thick forests cover most of the slopes. Several rivers flow southward into the Brahmaputra River in India. The three main areas of the country are the Greater Himalayan Region, Inner Himalayan Region and the Southern Foothills.

The panoramic scenes of the snow capped mountains in the north reaches a height of over 7500 meters above sea level. The Greater Himalaya is inhabited by few nomads and yak herders who move to the warmer places in the winter and bring back their livestock for grazing in the summer. The snow fed rivers in the alpine region provide pastures for the livestock in the summer.

In the Inner Himalayas the elevation reaches from 1500 meters to 3500 meters.The region has rich, broad valleys  which are cultivated and populated  because of mild climate. The rainfall in this region is average, not humid and wet like the Southern foothills.

The Southern Hills are covered with dense deciduous forest, alluvial lowland river valleys, and mountains that reach around 1,500 meters above sea level. The Southern Foothills, a plain only 5 -8 miles (8-13 km) are located along the Indian border and have the tropical climate.The northern section of the Foothills have dense vegetation and abundant wildlife. The southern portion is cultivated  for rice and maize.

The climate is humid and subtropical in the southern plains and foothills, temperate in the Inner Himalayan valleys of the southern and central regions, and cold in the north, with year-round snow on the main Himalayan summits.