Beijing has four discernible seasons - short windy spring, long hot summer, cool pleasant autumn but long chilly winter. July and August temperatures can exceed 40 C (104 F). January can dip to -20 C (-4 F).
There are frequent sandstorms in spring, and that makes September and October, when all considered, the best time to visit Beijing. Brief introduction to the four seasons in Beijing will help you have a better understanding about the climate and practical tips for traveling in different time of the year.
Introduction to Beijing Climate
Beijing weather is characterized by its clear distinction of four seasons - short windy spring, long hot summer, cool pleasant autumn and long chilly winter. The hottest month is July and the coldest is January. September and October with their pleasant and cool weather are considered the best time for visiting Beijing.
To visit Beijing in spring (early April till end of May) you need to bring lightweight clothing: long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, plus one or two jackets and sweaters. It is warm, windy and dry but temperature varies sharply between the day and the night. Dress warmly when going out at night. Also guard yourselves against sandstorms with outdoors wind gear.
Summer (from early June to mid-September) is very hot with abundant rainfall. This calls for light clothes as the temperature in July and August ranges between 30 C (86 F) and 40 C (104 F). Short and heavy rainstorms may come suddenly in the afternoon on sunny days. Even weather experts can get caught unawares by showers. Remember to pack a raincoat or umbrella just in case.
The short but beautiful autumn (from mid-September to the end of October) is all time travel favorite. Autumn in Beijing enjoys mild temperature and plenty of sunshine. The flaming maple scene on the Fragrant Hills and the Badaling Great Wall can be a delight to behold. Long-sleeved shirts and thin coats are adequate for autumn. From late October onwards, the temperature comes down sharply, so warm clothing is a must.
Beijing has a cold, dry and long winter from early November to the next March. The chilly days have no let up despite sunny days. The average temperature in December, January and February below 0 C (32 F). Be sure to wear wool sweaters and thick down coats for winter. Visitors from tropical countries may find Beijing's weather extremely inhospitable. Winter sport enthusiasts will enjoy the snow scene on the Western Hills and combat the chill by skating in Shichahai. Chinese Spring Festival can be celebrated either in January or February. The traditional community activities in the city are quite an experience for someone arriving from outside the country.