Climate in China

China is a vast country. It has diverse landscapes and spans through many latitudes. Owing to its large size, the climate in China varies from region to region.

China’s location is in the northern hemisphere of the globe. Therefore, it experiences extreme weather conditions. As a result, China goes through the four seasons namely winter, spring, summer and autumn.

Winters are extremely cold in northern China, around mountains and plateaus. On the contrary, southern China has mild winters.

Summers in China are generally hot. However, they tend to be cooler in the mountains and highlands. Most noteworthy, summers have high levels of precipitation. This is so in south-eastern and northwestern China.



Annually, precipitation is regular in China. Huoshaoliao in Taipei receives the highest precipitation levels, reaching over 6,000 mm. In the dry north-west region, rainfall varies greatly.

In terms of rainfall, China has four regions. These are wet, semi-wet, dry and semi-dry regions.



Temperature levels in China vary from region to region. Similarly, the temperature is dependent on seasons. It is influenced by monsoon activities and the latitudinal extent which an area covers. In summary, China has five temperature zones:

Tropical zone

This zone covers Yunnan, Guangdong, Taiwan and Hainan regions.

Sub-tropical zone

Areas covered by the sub-tropical zone include Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Macau, Lijiang and Chengdu.

Warm temperate zone

The warm temperate zone dominates the Yellow River. It is also dominant in Hebei, Shandong and Shaanxi provinces.

Mid-temperate zone

This zone is dominant in Beijing, Dalian, Shenyang, Dunhuang, Xinjian, Jilin and Liaoning.

Cold temperate zone

Areas found in the cold temperate zone are Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang province.


By and large, the climate is a result of the weather conditions of a place over a long period of time. Below is a summary of the weather in China on a monthly basis.



January is the coldest month in China. It is the month of the Chinese New Year Festival. The Chinese also have the Snow Festival and Harbin Ice Show during this month.

Average temperature: -4.5oC

Average rainfall: 4 mm



February marks the end of winter. It also marks the end of all festivals celebrated in the month of January.

Average temperature: -2oC

Average rainfall: 5 mm



March marks the onset of spring. Winter thaw begins this month. Jiangxi and Yunnan provinces celebrate the Spring Festival. Also, the Nanjing province celebrates the Plum Festival.

Average temperature: 5oC

Average rainfall: 8 mm



In April, China is in bloom. Temperatures are slowly rising. This month records plenty of flower festivals.

Average temperature: 14oC

Average rainfall: 17 mm



The tourist season is in high gear in the month of May. China has plenty of green scenery and beautifully blossomed flowers.

Average temperature: 20oC

Average rainfall: 35 mm



In June, temperatures start getting extremely high. This is the month of monsoon rains and high humidity.

Average temperature: 30oC

Average rainfall: 78 mm



July is very hot with heavy rains. It marks the beginning of the holiday season in China. In this month, public schools close and most working people take their annual holidays. Most places get crowded.

Average temperature: 26oC

Average rainfall: 243 mm


August is the peak of the summer season. It is also a busy tourist season, both local and international tourists. During this month, tourist sites get crowded and hotel rates shoot up.

Average temperature: 35oC

Average rainfall: 141 mm



This month marks the beginning of autumn. Temperatures begin to drop. This is a good time to visit the Silk Road or trek in Tibet.

Average temperature: 20oC

Average rainfall: 588 mm



In October, temperature and humidity drop to bearable levels. The weather in China is generally pleasant. October is the month of National Day Celebrations in China. Travelling during this time may be expensive. Also, places become crowded. However, it is a good time to visit and trek along the Great Wall.

Average temperature: 13oC

Average rainfall: 16 mm



In November, the winter chill begins. Snow begins to fall. At this time, locals choose to stay at home, school or work. There is visibly little activity in tourist sites.

Average temperature: 4oC

Average rainfall: 11 mm


This is the month of full-blown winter. It snows everywhere and temperatures are extremely low. However, if you can brave the cold, it a good time to go skiing.

Average temperature: -2.5oC

Average rainfall: 3 mm


Ideally, the best time to visit China is during spring and autumn. Spring runs from March to May while autumn runs from September to October. Summers would be convenient too. On the flip side, summer travel seems expensive because all of China is on holiday.

While planning to travel, remember to pack appropriate clothing. Likewise, make your travel arrangements earlier to avoid last minute inconveniences.