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  • Writer's pictureKushagra Singh

Planning a Trip to Manali this Summer? Here's What You Need to Know About the Weather

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Nestled high up in the magnificent Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Manali stands as one of India's most idyllic and popular summer retreats. As the sweltering summer months approach, you may be dreaming of planning a rejuvenating escape to this picturesque hill station, away from the scorching heat of the plains.


However, before packing your bags with gusto, it is essential to understand Manali's fickle climate and weather patterns during the summer.


The weather in Manali can fluctuate wildly and be extremely unpredictable in the summer months between May to August. Sudden downpours, chilling thunderstorms, misty clouds obscuring mountain views - the weather vagaries are manifold.

View of a foggy mountain peak

(Source: canva)


Thus, advance planning and preparation becomes critical to truly enjoy the summer charms of Manali despite the temperamental climes.


In this blog, I will provide a detailed overview of Manali's weather and climatic conditions. You will get insights into the temperature range, humidity levels, frequency of rainfall, sunny intervals, and the impact of altitude on weather during this season. Additionally, I will share how the weather affects key summer activities like sightseeing, trekking, adventure sports, and transportation around Manali.


By understanding all these facets, you can pack smartly, plan your summer holiday efficiently and make the most of your time in Manali irrespective of the weather gods' whims!



Manali’s weather: Quick glance

Weather in Manali across the year

(Source: cottagesinmanali)

Summer (April - June)

Summers see pleasant daytime temperatures in the range of 15°C to 25°C. However, humidity levels start rising to 65-70% by May end indicating the onset of monsoon. Rainfall also increases from June with occasional heavy downpours.


Monsoon (July - September)

The monsoon months are humid with average humidity levels spiking to 75-80%. Persistent heavy rainfall occurs with a monthly average of 350mm during peak monsoon season. Temperatures are cooler in the range of 12°C to 20°C.]


Winter (December - February)

Winters are dry and cold with negligible rainfall. Humidity levels drop further to 40-50%. Temperatures plummet below freezing point after sunset to -5°C with highs of about 10°C during the day.


Spring (March - April)

The spring months of March and April see temperatures rising to pleasant highs of 18°C to 25°C though nights can still be cool in Manali, with moderate rainfall occurring as light showers during this pre-monsoon transition period. However, sudden weather changes including snowfall at higher altitudes are common as the region moves from winter chill to summer warmth.



Best time to visit Manali

A camping site full of tourists

(Source: canva)

Now arrives the most awaited question- What is the best time to visit Manali?


However, the answer is that it completely depends on your personal preferences.


Here is a list of the pros and cons of visiting Manali in each of the seasons-:


Summer (April - June)

Pros:

  • Warm, sunny days perfect for sightseeing and photography

  • Can participate in adventure activities like paragliding, camping

  • Scenic mountain views before monsoon fog sets in

  • Fewer tourists and cheaper prices before mid-May

Cons:

  • Unexpected heavy showers start by late June with monsoon

  • Rohtang Pass closed due to snow clearance


Monsoon (July - September)

Pros:

  • Lush green valleys and fores with beautiful views

  • Discounted rates ideal for budget travellers

  • Great for white water rafting with raging rivers

  • Less crowded compared to peak summer

Cons:

  • Heavy persistent rainfall leads to landslides

  • Frequent disruption of travel due to landslides and road blockages

  • High chances of road closures especially to Rohtang Pass

  • Limited views due to fog and cloud cover


Winter (December - February)

Pros:

  • Snow-covered landscapes look picture perfect

  • Activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling

  • Discounted hotel rates and fewer tourists

  • Hot springs and spas ideal in cold weather

Cons:

  • Extremely cold temperatures ranging from -5°C to 10°C

  • Heavy snowfall can block roads and led to being stranded

  • Limited connectivity and accessibility due to road closures

  • Most activities closed down during peak winter


Spring (March - April)

Pros:

  • Pleasant weather with temperatures rising up to 25°C

  • Lush valleys and flowering fruit orchards

  • Off-season discounts on stays continue

  • Religious festivals like Holi and Easter

Cons:

  • Sudden snowfall on higher altitudes still possible

  • Some tourist spots remain closed before peak summer

  • High chances of rain during March

Visiting Manali in each season arrives with their own set of pros and cons. Even though some of the pros may overweigh others, visiting the hill station in every season comes out as a completely different experience.



What to pack for your Manali trip?

A snowy landscape in Manali

(Source: Unsplash)

Here are some packing recommendations for Manali for each of the four seasons round the year-:


Summer (April-June)

Summers in Manali have pleasant daytime temperatures, but the high altitude can lead to sun exposure. Cotton clothes that are light and airy suit the generally hot climate. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen become essential to protect against UV rays at high altitudes.


The evenings can get breezy and cooler, so carrying light jackets is advised. For outdoor activities like hiking, sturdy trekking shoes with a good grip are a must. By mid-June, monsoon showers begin, so packing umbrellas becomes vital for protection.


Monsoon (July-September)

The monsoon months witness heavy downpours in Manali. Rain jackets and umbrellas are a must to stay dry during the persistent showers. With trails becoming slippery, sturdy waterproof boots help maintain stability and prevent falls. Quick dry clothes that can wick moisture are recommended to handle humidity and sudden downpours during outdoor excursions.


Leech socks offer protection from leeches prevalent during hikes in the rainy season. Carrying medicines for common ailments like allergies, cold and body aches provides comfort in the damp weather.


Winter (December-February)

The cold dry winters of Manali call for ample warm clothing. Heavy woolens including sweaters, thermals and jackets help insulate the body from the chilling cold. Snow boots with good traction and gaiters are essential gear for stability over snowy terrain.


Those looking for snow sports will need specific winter gear like padded jackets, waterproof pants, gloves and goggles. Lip balms and moisturizers become a must to protect the skin and lips from severe dryness due to the freezing winds.


Spring (March-April)

In spring, evenings in Manali can still be cool. Light woolens like sweaters and jackets are handy to fend off the chill. Weather can be unpredictable, so carrying compact umbrellas provides protection from occasional spring showers. With temperatures fluctuating through the day, light layers that can adjusted are ideal.



Recommended activities in Manali based on Seasons

A golden dawn in a beautiful valley

(Source: Unsplash)


Summer (April - June)

  • Adventure Sports: The summer months are ideal for adventure junkies to enjoy activities like paragliding flights over Solang Valley, white water rafting on the rapids of the Beas River, and mountain biking on rugged trails. Camping by the river under starry nights is also hugely popular.

  • Trekking: Moderate to difficult scenic treks such as Hampta Pass, Bhrigu Lake, and Deo Tibba are accessible during summer. The clear skies, snow-fed streams and blooming wildflowers make summer the perfect season for multi-day trekking expeditions.


Monsoon (July - September)

  • Explore Manali Town: With persistent rainfall in higher altitude areas, it's best to explore attractions in Manali town like the colorful prayer wheel laden Tibetan Monastery, bustling Mall Road, and elaborate Hadimba Temple devoted to a deity from the Mahabharata.

  • Local Cuisine: Monsoon is the perfect time to enjoy piping hot momos, noodle soup, ginger lemon tea and other local snacks in the many cozy cafes and restaurants of Old Manali while the rain pours outside.


Winter (December - February)

  • Snow Sports: Solang Valley transforms into a skiing and snowboarding haven where beginners and experts alike can glide down powdery slopes. Zorbing, sledding, snowmobiling and building snowmen are other popular snow activities.

  • Winter Treks: For the very experienced, high-altitude treks like Pin Parvati Pass and Chadar Frozen River Trek are challenging but rewarding winter treks through icy landscapes.


Spring (March - April)

  • Nature Walks: Pleasant weather coupled with blooming wildflowers make spring perfect for nature trails around hills and meadows like Jogini Falls or Rahalla Falls for spectacular views and birdwatching opportunities.

  • Temple Visits: Ancient hilltop temples like Jagatsukh and Vashist with its quaint hot water springs see most visitors in spring before the summer tourist rush begins. The peaceful environs are ideal for meditation.

You can plan your Manali Itinerary based on the following suggestions. If you need more help in planning your trip, you can visit our totally free AI itinerary planner.

P.S.- Exploring the world in an eco-friendly way is possible! You can check out this website, where an avid Indian traveller Shivyanath shares the experiences of sustainable travel on her website. She offers tips on minimizing your environmental impact and travelling responsibly.


Visit her website for learning from her experiences on "How to travel green".










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