Lijiang weather is generally mild, with abundant rainfall and plenty of sunshine. It has an average annual temperature between 13 C (55 F) and 20 C (68 F), without too much change from spring to winter. In summer, the temperature just falls between 10 - 26 C (50 - 79 F) low because of the continuous rain. Coming to winter, the high mountains block the cold air from northern China, so it is still as warm as spring for most of the days. The climate allows visitors to get there at any time. However, summer and autumn are the most favorable seasons, considering the fairly wide variation in day-and-night temperature in spring and winter.
Introduction to Lijiang Climate
High elevation, uneven land from south to north and complex mountains give this area multifarious climates, ranging from subtropical in the southeast, to warm temperatures in the center, and cold temperatures in the northwest. In addition, the weather here is typical of 'vertical' climate - 'one mountain having Four Seasons, different weather within 10 km (6 miles)'. For example, Jade Dragon Mountain has five different climatic zones, from warm temperate to alpine.
With small annual temperature range, this area has a clear annual distinction between the wet and dry seasons. The wet season spans May to October, with plenty of rainfall. Lijiang weather is so temperamental that the temperature can drop down to less than 10 C (50 F) even in midsummer after the rain. Except for short-sleeved T-shirts and shorts, it's also advisable to take some warm clothes like a thin overcoat and long pants plus an umbrella or rain gear. The grass sea of Lugu Lake is charming in June and July, but the road may be difficult because of the rain, while Lashi Sea near Lijiang Old Town is another choice.
November to April is the dry season when there is abundant sunshine. So don't forget to take suntan lotion and sun glasses to protect you from the strong radiation from the sun even during the winter times. At this period of time, the temperature difference between day and night can be above 10 C (50 F), so bring long-sleeved T-shirts, sweaters, jacket and a down coat in reserve if you travel in January or February. Tiger Leaping Gorge now is not so imposing, but the sunrise at Meili Snow Mountain is really magnificent.