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China Climate

Last updated by fabiowzgogo at 2015/5/19

China is a huge country by the number of inhabitants, its limitless territory, the variety of climates and ethnic groups, the profusion of reliefs and streams. With its surface, it covers the third world rank - behind Russia and Canada-; it represents a quarter of the surface of Asia.

This vast territory indeed undergoes the influence of almost all climates (except the Siberian one), from the hottest to the iciest.

China covers up a wide range of latitude and longitude. Some areas are far from the sea and some other are beside or close to the sea. Both the topography and the climate are diverse and complex. China's climate is dominated by dry and wet monsoons, which grounds obvious temperature differences between winter and summer.

In summer, influenced by the warm and moist winds from the seas, most parts of the country are hot and rainy. Wuhan, Chongqing, and Nanjing along the Yangtze River are China's three famous 'furnaces'.

In winter, the cold and dry winds blowing from the continental land-mass towards the seas are prevailing, so most parts, especially north part of the country, are cold and dry.

In terms of temperature, China can be divided from south to north into six zones: tropical, subtropical, warm-temperate, temperate, cold-temperate, and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Temperate Zone. Most of the country lies in the North Temperate Zone, characterized by a warm climate and well-defined seasons, with a climate well suited for habitation.

Yellow Mountain in Winter

Yellow Mountain in winter

The Best Time to Visit China

The best seasons to travel to China are autumn (September and October) and spring (at the end of April - beginning June), periods during which wear light clothes with a small jacket or a sweat next by is appropriate. It is also the seasons where the light is the most beautiful.

For example: in Beijing, in July, during the day, the sky is never really blue, it is often veiled by heat hazes.

In summer (from June till August), it is indispensable to put very light clothes (except at high altitude); in winter (December to-February), a very hot dress is needed (no heating in the South), gloves and hats in addition in the North. A water-resistant garment is recommended for the South, whatever is the season.

Relax yourself with a Yangtze River Cruise

Weather in Different Areas

Altogether, the South is hot and wet, whereas the North is rather dry and windy, but most of the regions of the "18 Chinese provinces" are moderate or subtropical areas. The thermal amplitude is significant in winter in thewhole country, but it is mostly reduced in summer.

The dry regions of the Northwest (Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang) undergo of splits of temperature, with scorching and dry summers, strewed with some violent thunderstorms, and with cold and very dry winters.

Tibet Plateau with an average height of 4 000 m, knows extremely cold and rigorous winters and short summers relatively soft. It benefits from an abounding period of sunshine all year long.

Tibet in summer

Tibet in summer

In the Northeast, summers are brief and fresh, the winters are long and rough.

By coming down in the big plain of North China, where Beijing is located, the spring and the autumn are rather short but magnificent. Towards middle of April, North-West winds convey sands from Mongolia in the plain; those are "Yellow Sand Storms”.

Along the east coastal regions, the oceanic warm and wet climate dominates, and four seasons are well marked.

In the agricultural centre, along the Yangzi River, summers are always hot and very rainy. It is there that Wuhan is situated, one of the furnaces of China.

The climate of South China is a subtropical type with soft and wet winters and hot and rainy summers.

Guilin in summer

Guilin in summer

The extreme fringes of South Yunnan, Kwangsi and Guangdong, and Hainan Island enjoy a tropical climate.

Climatic excellence distinction is granted to Yunnan Plateau which benefits from a pleasant temperature all year round favouring the biggest variety of animal and vegetable species.

Monsoon sprays oriental and central China by coming back up) from south to north during the hot season.


Rainfalls in China diverge from place to place and vary along with the seasons. The rainy season begins earlier in the south and lasts for a longer time, from May to October. In the north, the precipitations persist for a shorter period of time and are predominant in July and August. Generally speaking, most parts are rainy in summer and autumn and dry in winter and spring.