Himalayan Alpine Climate
The latitude range of the Himalayan climate is about 28 degrees to about 33 degrees north of the equator. The Himalayan Alpine climate varies according to the elevation. It gets colder as the elevation increases and gets wetter as the elevation drops. Because of this, the temperature changes very quickly. There are very sudden monsoons, floods, high winds, snowstorms and other types of precipitation, which makes the climate very dangerous.
The Alpine climate is similar to the climate of the biome surrounding it. For example, there are two different types of biomes on each side of the Himalayan mountains, therefore the climate on one side of these mountains is different from that on the other side.
The winter and summer are the main seasons in the Himalayan Alpine. In the winter it is usually always snowing with very icy temperatures. In the summer conditions are much milder, but throughout all of the months it is generally snowing.
The Himalayan Alpine climate is a harsh environment, therefore few animals and plants can live there. The few plants that do inhabit the Alpine consist of rhododendrons, the tea plant and shrub type plants. They have to adapt to the freezing temperatures, high winds and to a short growing season. That is why most of the plants grow low to the ground.
The mountain animals that are found in the Himalayan Alpine are similar to the mountain animals found in the surrounding biome. Some animals have adapted, such as the mountain goat, which has a thick coat for warmth and strong hooves for running up the rocky slopes.
Koppenšs climate classification letter for the Alpine or Highland climate is H. The average temperature per year is around 47ē Fahrenheit. This may not sound too cold, but temperatures can change rapidly. In the winter the average temperature is around 33° Fahrenheit. The lowest temperature reached was in the month of January, at 14° Fahrenheit. In the summer, temperatures average around 56° Fahrenheit. The highest temperature was reached in June
at 75° Fahrenheit.
The average precipitation reaches around 16 inches per year. In the summer there is around 3 inches of precipitation. In the winter there is about .5 inches of precipitation. Sleet, snow and rain are some forms of precipitation that falls in the Himalayan Alpine. Because of the melting
snow more drainage occurs in the summer than in the winter. However all year round the air is filled with some form of precipitation.
"Climate Data for Lhasa, Tibet", http://www.onlineweather.com/China/climate/Lhasa.html (March 2000)
"Indian Seasons", http//www.internetindia.com/travelnotes/climate.html, (November 2000)
Greghen. "Plants and Animal Adaptations", http://members.triped.com/gregahn/mountains.html 1999
Strahler, A.N. Strahler, A.H. (1984) Elements of Physical Geography. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1984
World Atlas. Rand Mackinly and Company 1999 Revised Edition