China Weather

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Introduction to China 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.

Five Temperature Zones

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.

 Cold-Temperate Zone: north part of Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia (Representative city: Harbin)
 Mid-Temperate Zone: Jilin, northern Xinjiang, and most of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Inner  Mongolia (Representative cities: Beijing, Shenyang, Dalian, Urumqi, Hohhot, Dunhuang, Lanzhou)
 Warm-Temperate Zone: area of the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Hebei Province (Representative cities: Xi'an, Taiyuan, Luoyang, Jinan, Qingdao, Zhengzhou)
 Subtropical Zone: South of isotherm of Qinling Mountain-Huaihe River, east of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Representative cities: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Guilin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Chengdu)
 Tropical Zone: Hainan province, southern Taiwan, Guangdong, and Yunnan Province (Representative cities: Haikou, Sanya)

 Plateau Climate Zone: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (Representative city: Lhasa)


China Precipitation Map
China Precipitation Map

Precipitation in China is basically regular each year. From the spatial angle, the distribution shows that the rainfall is increasing from southeast to northwest, because the eastern seashores are influenced more than inland areas by the summer monsoon. In the place with the most rainfall, Huoshaoliao in Taipei, the average annual precipitation can reach over 6,000mm. The rainy seasons are mainly May to September. In some areas, especially in the dry northwest, changes in precipitation every year are greater than in the coastal area. Based on precipitation, the area divides into four parts: wet area, semi-wet area, semi-dry area and dry area.


In summer, a southeast monsoon from the western Pacific Ocean and a southwest monsoon from the equatorial Indian Ocean blow onto the Chinese mainland. These monsoons are the main cause of rainfall. Starting in April and May, the summer rainy season monsoons hit the southern provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan. In June, the rains blow northward, and South China gets more rainfall with the poetic name, plum-rain weather, since this is the moment when plums mellow. North part of the country greets its rainy season in July and August, says farewell in September; gradually in October the summer monsoons retreat from Chinese land. Eastern China experiences many climate changes, while the northwest area is a non-monsoon region.
 With vast territory, China is renowned for its diversity of climates and regions. However, besides the world climate change, the rapid development of economy in the past 30 years resulted in deterioration of air quality. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013, especially those in the central and eastern area.

As a common phenomenon, global warming now is no longer strange to everyone. It is worth to mention that the damage caused by the climate change, from natural disasters to food chain rupture, is involved in all aspects of the human existence.

- Last modified on Dec. 08, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on China Weather
Asked by Lilly from THAILAND | Oct. 21, 2018 05:07Reply
I will be arrived in Kunming on Friday and proceed to Jiaozi Mountain the following day.
We are leaving with a tour group which they organize the cable car to go up for a half day trip. Will it be very cold there ? What clothes we should prepare? AFTER that, we will go to Dongchuan in the afternoon. How is the altitude and for someone who is susceptible for altitude sickness? Anything to prepare?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen from CANADA | Oct. 21, 2018 20:35

Yes, it would be very cold at that time and you need to prepare some warm clothes like a down jacket. On the snow mountain, the altitude is more than 4000m, so you need to prepare some drugs and functional foods for preventing altitude sickness. The altitude in Dongchuan is from 1800m to 2600, so you don'y need worry too much about the altitude sickness there.
Asked by Belle from USA | Oct. 08, 2018 12:56Reply
What temperature is the Taklamakan Desert?
Answers (1)
Answered by Chris from SPAIN | Oct. 08, 2018 18:07

Well, based on the previous statistics, the highest temperature in the Taklamakan Desert is above 45C and the highest surface temperature is close to 70C. The lowest temperature in winter is below 20C. The temperature is also very different in different periods.
Asked by Siddharth from USA | Sep. 26, 2018 04:57Reply
What is the best time in year to travel Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai?
Answers (2)
Answered by Anne from NETHERLANDS | Sep. 26, 2018 18:57

Generally, the best time of the three cities to visit is from March to May and September to October. Generally speaking, the weather condition will be appropriate. Have a nice trip!
Answered by Garry Kidd from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 08, 2018 17:01

At all costs avoid coming to China during the first week in October (National Day holiday period). It's extremely crowded in many places at that time of year.
Asked by yana from MALAYSIA | Sep. 01, 2018 03:15Reply
Does it snow from middle to end Nov in major cities in China?
we are travelling to Beijing, shanghai, Xi'an, Guangzhou & Harbin is there any possibilities that we can snow?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jane from HUNGARY | Sep. 16, 2018 18:29

You have great possibility to see snow in Harbin based on the previous weather statistics. However, it's hard to see snow in other cities, especially the Guangzhou, you can't see snow there in any time.
Asked by Alecia from RUSSIA | Apr. 30, 2018 04:19Reply
Best place/city to travel on May from Tianjin
Hi Guys, I am studying in Tianjin and want to go to somewhere near Tianjin to refresh myself on May? Do you have any suggestions?
Beijing is okay but I went to Summer palace and Forbidden palace in Beijing already.
Every suggestion will be appreciated :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Elizabeth from CANADA | May. 02, 2018 01:55

You are suggested to tour around Qinhuangdao City and Jinan City.
In Qinhuangdao, you can tour around Beidaihe, Dove Nest Park, Jiaoshan Great Wall and Lianfeng Mountain Park. In addition, Baotu Spring Park, Daming Lake Park, Thousand-Buddha Mountain (Qianfo Shan), Shandong Provincial Museum and Black Tiger Spring are popular scenic areas in Jinan City.
Hope helpful!
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