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China Weather - China Climate & Seasonal Travel Guide

In general, China weather features a distinct continental monsoon climate, characterized by cold winter and hot summer. However, it’s hard to define China weather in a few words because of vast land. It enjoys a rich climate and the weather differs from region to region by different temperature zones according to the diverse landforms. Two different cities may have totally different temperature and climate in the same time, that makes China is a great country to travel all the year around. No matter when you step into the land of China, you can easily find some great places to visit. Traveling to China in different seasons, you will enjoy quite different scenery. It is also important to pack and dress accordingly if you visit different places or in different month. This China Weather Guide including weather today, climatic characteristics, different climate of top tourist cities, four seasons features, top recommended tours by months, etc. to help you enjoy a better China tour!

The Best Times to Visit China

Choosing the best time to visit China depends on which places you wish to visit, and what type of weather you enjoy. May, September, and October are the months when the weather is most comfortable at most of China's tourist destinations, but they are more crowded. See more, including why the summer months are rated second, on The Best Time to Travel to China.

China Climate in Major Tourist Cities

Beijing and Xi'an are dry, hot in summer, and cold in winter. Shanghai (along with nearby Hangzhou, Suzhou, and the Yellow Mountains), Guilin, and Hong Kong all experience monsoon rains in the spring and summer, with hot summers and milder winters.

Tourists visit Harbin in winter for its ice festival and ski slopes. Tibet has clear skies and big daily temperature differences and is best avoided in the frigid winter. The Silk Road in the Northwest is also best explored in the warmer months when the deserts and barren vistas are at their best.

Tropical Hainan is a sunny escape for holidaymakers at any time of year. Chengdu is an overcast city, with muggy hot summers and cold dreary winters, and Kunming is the "Spring City" with pleasantly mild weather all year round.

Area Cities
(Provinces/Municipalities)
Weather & Climate
Northern China Beijing, Xi'an(Shaanxi), Shandong, Luoyang(Henan), Pingyao(Shanxi) and other places Avg Temperature: -1°C~31°C
The northern region has mainly temperate continental climate and temperate monsoon climate. The temperature in winter is lower than 0°C, and the temperature in summer is higher than 20°C. The temperature changes in four seasons. The coldest month occurs in January, and the hottest month is July. There is little precipitation throughout the year, and the seasonal distribution is uneven, with precipitation concentrated in summer.
Eastern China Shanghai, Huangshan(Anhui), Hangzhou(Zhejiang), Suzhou(Jiangsu) and other places Avg Temperature: 5°C~32°C
Most of southeast China belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate zone. The climate is mild and humid throughout the year with abundant rainfall. The seasonal changes in wind are obvious, with alternating cold and summer, and four distinct seasons. Its main climatic characteristics are: rainy spring, sultry summer, cool autumn air, and wet and cold winter. The time from March to May (spring) and the late September to November (autumn) boasts comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists and rain showers, making it the best time to travel.
Southern China Guilin(Guangxi), Zhangjiajie(Hunan) and other places Avg Temperature: 7°C~33°C
Both Guilin and Zhangjiajie have a subtropical monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. Summer in Guilin and Zhangjiajie is hot and sunny and the rainfall is abundant. It is not too cold in winter and you can visit this region for a comfortable winter holiday. Spring and autumn are also the best time for these cities.
Southwestern China Chengdu (Sichuan), Yunnan, Guizhou and other places Avg Temperature: -13°C~30°C
Most areas of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces belong to the subtropical monsoon climate zone, while the higher altitude areas belong to the alpine plateau climate zone. Sichuan and Chongqing have distinct seasons. In Guizhou and Yunnan, you can enjoy a comfortable weather all year round.
Northwestern China Gansu, Xinjiang, Ningxia and other places Avg Temperature: -16 °C~30°C
The northwestern region is deep inland and far away from the sea. Coupled with the high plateaus and mountainous terrain that block the humid airflow, the area has sparse precipitation and arid climate, forming a landscape of vast deserts and Gobi beaches. Winters are severely cold and dry, summers are hot, and precipitation is scarce, showing a decreasing trend from east to west.
Southern Coastal China Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Guangdong), Shenzhen, Macau, Hainan, Xiamen and other places Avg Temperature: 11°C~35°C
Located on the subtropical coast, with the Tropic of Cancer passing through the central and southern regions, this region has a maritime subtropical monsoon climate characterized by warm and rainy, abundant light and heat, long summers and short frost periods. The cities in this region have a very small annual average temperature difference.
Northeastern China Harbin (Heilongjiang), Jilin, Shenyang (Liaoning) and other places Avg Temperature: -20°C~30°C
The northeast is located in a temperate monsoon climate zone. The winter is controlled by temperate continental air masses, which are cold and dry, and the temperature difference between north and south is large; summer is affected by temperate ocean air masses or degeneration of tropical ocean air masses, warm, hot and rainy, and the temperature difference between north and south is small. In addition, the four seasons are distinct and the weather varies significantly.
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Qinghai, Tibet Avg Temperature: -15°C~33°C
The general characteristics of the climate of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau: strong radiation, more sunshine, low temperature, less accumulated temperature, temperature decreases with the increase of altitude and latitude, and the temperature difference between the days is large; the dryness and the wetness are distinct, and the night rains; the winter is long and dry and cold, and there are many strong winds; Summer is cool and rainy, with much hail.
Inner-Mongolia Inner Mongolia Avg Temperature: -14°C~20°C
Inner Mongolia has a typical mid-temperate monsoon climate, which is characterized by low and uneven precipitation and drastic changes in cold and heat. The winter is long and cold, and the cold season in most areas lasts from 5 months to half a year.

FAQs About China Weather?

1. When is the Best Time to Visit China?

In diverse China, it is just a piece of cake to find a perfect destination in each month. Many places featured with cultural charm and city view can be visited all the year around, such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Luoyang, etc. If you want to travel in the most comfortable days with mild temperature and less rainfall, spring and autumn are the best seasons, especially April, May, September and October.

2. When is the Golden Week of China and How to Avoid Crowds during the Golden Week?

China Golden Week usually refers to Chinese National Holiday, a holiday lasting for 7 days from October 1st – 7th, sometimes extending to 8 days because of the mid-autumn Festival happens to fall on one day in the Golden Week. It is the busiest traveling time of china and many popular tourist destinations will be full of people. The cost for meals, accommodation and transfer is increasing and tickets run out quickly. We suggest you avoid traveling China during the Golden Week. If you have to, remember to book your hotel and transfer ticket quickly and choose some less-crowded destinations, like Silk Road, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, etc.

3. Which Kind of Extreme Weather Occurs in China?

Typhoon: Typhoon occur most frequently in summer (July, August and September) in places along the coastline of southern China, such as Guangdong, Taiwan, Hainan and Fujian. Sandstorm: Sandstorms do not frequently occur in China in fact and it mainly occur in late winter (March) and early spring (February). The most frequent areas of sandstorms are the northern regions, like southern Xinjiang basin, southwestern Qinghai, western Tibet, central and western Inner Mongolia, and central and northern Gansu. Flood: Because of the large amount of rainfall in July and August, flood occur in southern China and southeastern China, including Guangdong, Guangxi, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, etc. Torrential flood also occurs in Anhui, Liaoning, Hunan, Guizhou, and Yunnan.

4. How to Enjoy a Winter Holiday in China?

Don't be scared by the cold weather in winter, and you will get enough fun if you travel in this season. Snow view and snow activities are the biggest highlight of a winter holiday. For travelers who want to have a snowscape sightseeing journey, just go to Jiuzhaigou, Yellow Mountain, Mount Emei, Xiling Snow Mountain and Jilin. For snow sports fun, Harbin, Jilin, Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Emeishan are recommended. Besides, you can also find some warm places to go in winter, like Yunnan (Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, etc.), Fujian (Xiamen, Tulou), Hainan Island(Sanya, Haikou), Great Bay Area (Hong Kong, Maocao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou) and Guangxi (Guilin, Yangshuo, Longsheng).

5. Where to Escape Summer Heat in China?

Just as winter, summer is not suitable for all destinations, but you can get a great summer holiday as well. There are many cool destinations to go in summer as well, including Hohhot with eye-pleasing green grassland, Jiuzhaigou with green & blue fairyland, Yunnan with everlasting spring weather, Zhangjaijie with breathtaking Avatar scenery and Moganshan with amazing bamboo shelter.

6. Where to Appreciate Seasonal Flowers in China?

There are numerous flowers blooming in China in different seasons and different months. If you like golden sea of rapeseed flowers, Wuyuan and Luoping are best recommended. If you are interested in cherry blossoms, Wuhan is the great place. If you prefer plum blossoms, ancient Nanjing awaits your discovery. Besides, there are pear blossoms, peach blossoms, peony flowers, etc.

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