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China's Climate

In China, a vast land spanning many degrees of latitude with complicated terrain, climate varies radically. China has a variety of temperature and rainfall zones, including continental monsoon areas. In winter most areas become cold and dry, in summer hot and rainy.

Temperatures vary a great deal. Influenced by latitude and monsoon activities, in winter, an isotherm of zero degrees traverses the Huaihe River-Qinling Mountain-southeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Areas north of the isotherm have temperatures below zero degrees and south of it, above zero. Mohe in Heilongjiang can hit an average of 30 degrees centigrade below zero, while the temperature of Sanya in Hainan Province is above 20 degrees. In summer, most of areas are above 20 degrees centigrade despite the high Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and other mountains such as Tianshan. Among these hot places, Turpan Basin in Xinjiang is the center for intense heat at 32 centigrade on average.

There are 5 different kind of climate in china:

1. Temperate monsoon climate:
It works In the north of the Qinling Mountains - Huai River area, Including the North China Plain, the Loess Plateau and the Northeast Plain. Because the high latitudes in winter from Siberia, Mongolia inland high-pressure center of the impact of the north-west monsoon, the prevalence of continental polar air mass; summer by polar marine air mass or the impact of variability of tropical marine air mass, the prevalence of south-east monsoon.

2. Sub-tropical monsoon climate
It works in the southern of the China's Qinling Mountains - Huai River area, including the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Plain, south-eastern hills, the Sichuan Basin, Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. It is a tropical marine air mass continental polar air mass and the turn of the control and cross-compete with each other zone.
Climate characteristics: high temperature and rainy in summer, mild winter and little rain, rain heat over the same period.
Here is not so cold in winter, generally in January the average temperature is at 0 ℃ and above, than the summer heat, the average temperature in July is generally around 25 ℃, winter and summer there are significant changes in wind direction, precipitation was generally above 1000 mm, mainly concentrated in the summer, winter is dry.

3. Tropical monsoon climate
Tropical monsoon climate is mainly located in the south of Taiwan, Leizhou Peninsula, Hainan Island, and the south of Yunnan.
Winter wind by land and sea thermal difference between the impact of the prevalence of the northeast monsoon, the summer air with the wind with the north, south-east trade winds across the equator, the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere, in turn bias force, the right side become the southwest monsoon.
Climate characteristics:
(1) The temperatures are high throughout the year, the annual average temperature above 20 ℃, the coldest month is normally more than 18 ℃.
(2) Annual precipitation, and concentrated in the summer, because summer in the marine air mass under the control of the equator, more convective rain, coupled with a lot of tropical cyclone rainfall in transit, resulting in more than savannah climate of Xia Yu; In some windward coast, the role because of the terrain, even in summer precipitation over the equatorial rain forest climate zones. Annual rainfall is generally more than 1500 ~ 2000 millimeters. Tropical monsoon in this area developed, with a clear wet and dry season, that is, north-easterly winds in the northern hemisphere winter, the formation of the dry season; summer blowing winds from the southwest Indian Ocean, is rich in water vapor, precipitation, concentration, the formation of the rainy season.

4. Temperate continental climate:
Mainly located in the Northwest of China, including Inner Mongolia Plateau, the Tarim Basin, Junggar Basin which faraway from the sea, humid climate is difficult to reach, so the dry drier, the temperature is different from forest to grassland and desert.
Climate characteristics: the temperature was lower, and the summer heat and winter cold and less precipitation.

5, Alpine climate
Alpine climate is mainy distributed in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region。Because of the high elevation, it shows low temperatures and less precipitation.

China's climate varies from bitter cold in winter to unbearable heat in summer.

The Yangtze River serves as China's official dividing line between north and south. Given the size and varied landscape of the country, there is no one time in the year when weather is ideal in every part of China. Of course, the warmest areas in winter are to be found in the South and Southwest, such as Sichuan, Banna in Yunnan, and Hainan Island. In summer the coolest spots are in the far northeast.

China has a climate dominated by dry seasons and wet monsoons, which leads to clear temperature differences in winter and summer. In winter, northern winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from sea areas at lower latitude are warm and moist.

China climates differ from region to region because of the country's extensive and complex topography. In the south of the Nanling Mountains, rains are prolific and the temperature is high all year round. In the Yangtze and Huaihe river valleys in the central part of China, there are four distinctive seasons.

In northeast China, summer is short but there is much sunshine, while winter is long and cold. Precipitation is limited in northwest China where it is cold in winter and hot in summer. In southwest China of low latitudes, the land is elevated high, and has characteristically vertical seasonal zones.

There's not really an 'ideal' time to visit the country, so use the following information as a rough guide to avoid temperature extremes.


Northern winters, from December to March, can be extremely cold. Beijing may experience temperature of -20C at night, dry and no sun. Further north, -40C are not uncommon, and you'll see the curious sight of sand dunes covered in snow.

During the summer, from May to August, temperatures in Beijing can hit 38C (100F), coinciding with the rainy season for the city.

The best time for visiting the north is spring and autumn. Daytime temperatures range from 20C to 30C (68F to 86F) and drop a lot at night. Precipitation is 6370cm (25-28 inches) per year.


The Yangtze River valley has long and humid summer with high temperatures from April to October. The city of Wuhan, Chongqing and Nanjing on the Yangtze are China's three famous 'furnaces'.

Winters there, with temperatures dropping well below freezing, can be as cold as in Beijing, particularly as there is no heating in public buildings to the south of the Yangtze River.

It can also be wet and miserable at any time apart from summer. Since it is impossible to choose an ideal time to visit, spring and autumn are probably best. Precipitation averages around 76 cm (30 inches) per year.


Near Guangzhou, the summer is a season of typhoons between July and September. Temperatures can rise to around 38C. Winters are short, between January and March. It's not as cold as in the north, but you'd better bring warm clothes with you while visiting.

Autumn and spring can be good times to visit, with day temperatures in the 20C to 25C (68F to 75F) range. Sometimes, it can be miserably wet and cold, with rain or drizzle. Precipitation averages 76 cm (30 inches) per year.


It gets hot in summer, dry and sunny. The desert regions can be scorching in the daytime. Turphan, which sits in a depression 150m below sea level, is referred to as the 'hottest place in China' with maximums of around 47C.

In winter this region is as severely cold as the rest of northern China. Temperatures in Turphan during Winter are only slightly more favorable to human existence.

This area of China climate experiences little rain, and as a consequence, the air is very dry. Summers, however, can exceed 40C, while winters may drop to -10C. Precipitation averages less than 10 cm (4 inches) per year.


Undoubtedly, Tibet is one of the harshest places for human existence. It is cool in summer but freezing cold in winter. In Lhasa, the mildest city in Tibet, temperature may exceed 29C in summer while plummeting to -16C in winter!

Sun radiation is extremely strong in Tibet. The sunlight in Lhasa is so intense that the city is called Sunlight City. The thin air can neither block off nor retain heat so that the temperature extremes can be met in daytime and the same night respectively in Tibet. However it is not impossible to visit the holy snow land. April to October is the best time to visit Tibet, out of the coldest months, which are from December to February usually.

The average temperature in north Tibet is subzero and winter arrives in October until the following May or June. July and August are the best time to visit the area, enjoying warm temperature, intense sunshine, beautiful scenery and festive events.

May, June and September is the tourist season in east Tibet. In winter, roads are all blocked by heavy snow. Landslides and rock falls frequently occur, which will make travel difficult.

South Tibet is balmy during May to October. During the period, there are also great festive events held. Hence it is the best time to visit Lhasa, Shigatse and Nyingchi.

Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season which starts from June to September. Usually it rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area. The rainfall may block roads and make travel difficult but the scenery at the time will be the best. From November to the coming May, the wind blows often.

Major China cities alphabetically listed below help you to know the climatic features and weather conditions of these palces including their annual temperatures, monsoon and rainfall. The best time for travel to different cities is also intoduced to easy your trip.

 Beijin Climate    

 Shanghai Climate  

 Xian Climate


 Guilin Climate  

 Hangzhou Climate  

    Hainan Climate

  Dunhuang Climate

 Tibet Climate

 Guangzhou Climate 

 Zhuhai  Climate 

 Shenzhen Climate 



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