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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 Mountains, and 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 updated on Sep. 08, 2023 by Kina Lu -
Questions & Answers on China Weather
Asked by Table from USA | Feb. 15, 2024 08:49Reply
What is the weather like in Longmen Grottoes?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hailey | Feb. 20, 2024 01:18

Recently, the weather in Longmen Grottoes are rainy and the temperature ranges from -6 -10C.
Asked by Teresa from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 06, 2023 02:17Reply
Will be traveling to guangzhou baiyun qu in September 26 to october 18 will it wind lots
Answers (1)
Answered by Ivy | Sep. 06, 2023 20:31

It's still too early to predict the weather at that time. But it is not the rainy and windy season, a good time to visit Guangzhou.
Asked by paolo from ITALY | Dec. 27, 2019 12:00Reply
Yubeng weather March
Hello, I would like to do the trekking to Yubeng village in late March, do you think is doable in that period of the year? Thank you very much!!
Answers (2)
Answered by Jordyn from GERMANY | Dec. 29, 2019 22:58

Yes, it will be ok for you to trekking to Yubeng village in late March. Have a nice trip!
Answered by paolo from ITALY | Dec. 30, 2019 04:42

Thank you very much for your answer!
Asked by Ara from MALAYSIA | Dec. 26, 2019 17:19Reply
Yunan lotus garden hostel
Im at kunming railway station.what is bus no to reach this hotel.thank you.

Yunan lotus garden hostel
1-106 Tea Garden ,West Mountain District,650100 kunming
Answers (1)
Answered by Isla from DENMARK | Dec. 29, 2019 22:35

Take subway line 1 to Fude Metro Station. Then take bus no.A9 to Yunnan Folk Village. Then walk south around 400 meters to find the hotel.
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