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China Climate

The climate in China is extremely diverse due to its wide coverage, assortment of terrains as well as the different distances to the sea from different locations. The tremendous differences in latitude, longitude, and altitude cause much variation in precipitation and temperature within China, which combine to make the climate in China climate very complex.

What is the main condition of Chinese climate?

Most of China lies in the temperate belt, with its south in subtropical belt and north in subarctic belt. Climates vary a lot from region to region because of the country's extensive territory and complex landscapeIn most parts of China, summer coincides with much rainfall and winter coincides with little rainfall due to the influence of the southeast monsoon. However, in northeast China summer is short, with mostly sunshine as it is less cloudy, while winter is long and cold. The cold temperature within the northwest of China, mean rainfall is limited.


In mainland China, further away from the sea, temperatures differ greatly between winter and summer as well as between day and night. This is due to the low heat-absorbing capacity of the continent. In terms of seasons, in the Yangtze and Huaihe River valleys in the central part, there are four distinctive seasons; in the southeastern part south of the Nanling Mountains, rains are plenty and the temperature is high all year round. In southwest China, which is typified by its low latitudes, the land is elevated high and features vertical seasonal zones with temperatures differing from a valley to a mountain peak.
How does monsoon influence Chinese climate?

Chinese climate is dominated by monsoon winds, and experiences clear temperature differences in summer and winter. There are two monsoons which affect China, these are; the southeast and the southwest monsoon. The southeast monsoon, originating from the Pacific Ocean is the most important monsoon which dominates China’s climate, affects most parts of China. In summer, rainfall is common due to the southerly winds from the sea at lower, which accounts for most of the annual rainfall in China. In winter, northerly winds coming from high latitude areas, mainly Siberia and Mongolia are cold and dry, meaning rainfall is uncommon during this period.


How does the Chinese climate differ within regions?

China's northernmost province Heilongjiang and the northeastern part of Inner Mongolia have a subarctic climate, as the picture on the right displays. Southernmost point, Hainan Island (an island away from mainland China), has a tropical climate, which opposes the cold climates of the northernmost province. Temperature differences in winter are considerably large, but in summer the diversity in weather conditions is not so prominent.

Bian zhong in Hubei Suizhou

Qinling Mountains and Huaihe River are seen as the dividing line between China’s south and north. Generally speaking, the rainfall decreases gradually from the southeast to the northwest. Areas south of this line experience large amounts of rainfall, most of it coming with the summer monsoons from the Pacific Ocean, however in the northern and western area, rainfall is relatively rare. The northwest has the lowest annual rainfall in the country and many areas of the region have become deserts, where it seldom rains.

Northern China Climate

In the north, winter is dated from December through to March and can be extremely cold. Beijing may experience temperature of -20C at night, dry weather conditions and no sun, and further north, -40C is not uncommon. During the summer, which dates from May through to August, temperatures become very high, coinciding with the rainy season. The best time for visiting the north is spring and autumn, when the sky is clear and the temperatures are not too cold and not too warm.

Central China Climate

The central region has four distinctive seasons. The Yangtze River valley has long and humid summer with high temperatures from April to October. The city of Wuhan, Chongqing and Nanjing on the Yangtze are China's three famous “furnaces”. Winters here, with temperatures dropping well below freezing, can be as cold as in the north, particularly as there is no public heating facilities in the south of the Yangtze River.

southern China

Southern China Climate
The central and southern parts of Guangdong Province experience an average January temperature of above 10 °C (50 °F), while in July it is about 28 °C (82 °F), and there is a typhoon season between July and September, where temperatures can rise to around 38C. Winters are short, and date between January and March. Overall temperatures in southern China are warmer than temperatures in the North.

Northwest China Climate

In Northwest China, it is extremely hot, dry and sunny in summer, and the desert regions in particular can be scorching in the daytime. Turphan, which sits in a depression 150m below sea level, is referred to as the “hottest place in China” with maximum temperatures of around 47C. In winter this region is as severely cold as the rest of northern China, and there is little rainfall in this area, making the air there very dry.

Northwest China Climate


Tibet is one of the harshest places for human existence. It is cool in summer but freezing cold in winter. In Lhasa, the mildest city in Tibet, temperature may exceed 29C in summer while plummeting to -16C in winter.In north Tibet, the average temperature is subzero and winter lasts from October to the following May or June. July and August are the best time to visit the area, enjoying warm temperature, intense sunshine, beautiful scenery and many festive events.

Qinghai Tibet Plateau

South Tibet is balmy during May to October, and is home to great festive events during this period Sun radiation is extremely strong in Tibet, the sunlight in Lhasa is so intense that the city has been named “Sunlight City”. The thin air can neither block off nor retain heat so the temperature extremes can be seen in daytime and the same night respectively in Tibet.Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season starting from June to September. It usually rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area. The rainfall may block roads and make travel difficult but the scenery at this time will be the most scenic.

As explored throughout this article, it’s evident that Chinas climate differs widely, which is dependent upon the location of the province, and also the time of year. It is important that you consider the time of your trip in relation to the climate during this season, as depending on your personal preferences, you may prefer to travel in a season which suits your individual needs, whether this be during a hot and dry, or a cold and wet season.

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