Dunhuang Climate - Seasons & Travel Advice
If you bring western China to mind, it is likely that most people have an impression of deserts, bad weather like sand storms and a harsh, arid climate and maybe the mysterious murals in the Dunhuang rock caves, etc. However, most people have gained such an impression from TV or books, in fact, most of the time, the weather of Dunhuang is not so bad. The charm of western China is a special kind of desolate ruggedness. If you want to sample the unique appeal of Dunhuang, you should base your trip in around the features of western China, but not the weather.
Gansu Province, with great length, has a pronounced difference between the climates of north and south. Dunhuang City, situated in the north of the Province is land locked, and surrounded by high mountains, its great distance from the moist sea breezes helped form its arid continental climate. The annual average temperature is 9.3C (48.74F), but ranges from 24.7C (76.46F) in July to -9.3C (15.26F) in January. The weather is fervent in summer and bitterly cold in winter with precipitation outstripped by evaporation.
The fluctuation in temperature between day and night suggest tourists should bring a warm, winter clothing for use in the morning and evening. Other essentials are sunglasses, caps, sunscreen and gauze-kerchiefs. The air here is extremely dry in most of the time for the frequent wind. Lip balm is thus highly recommended. It is necessary to have enough water and fruits every day here.
Winter is bitingly cold season and is not suitable for traveling. March to October is suitable for visiting, with May to September offering the most clement weather, especially for visiting the caves, as there are no lighting facilities inside but the sunshine perfuse the caves with radiance at this time.