Beijing Climate & Terrain

Beijing has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dwa), characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone.[41] Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain, but is crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature in January is -3.7 °C (25.3 °F), while in July it is 26.2 °C (79.2 °F). Precipitation averages around 570 mm (22.4 in) annually, with the great majority of it falling in the summer months. Extremes have ranged from -27.4 to 42.6 °C (-17 to 109 °F).

Climate data for Beijing (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.8
(35.2)
5.0
(41.0)
11.6
(52.9)
20.3
(68.5)
26.0
(78.8)
30.2
(86.4)
30.9
(87.6)
29.7
(85.5)
25.8
(78.4)
19.1
(66.4)
10.1
(50.2)
3.7
(38.7)
17.9
(64.2)
Average low °C (°F) -8.4
(16.9)
-5.6
(21.9)
0.4
(32.7)
7.9
(46.2)
13.6
(56.5)
18.8
(65.8)
22.0
(71.6)
20.8
(69.4)
14.8
(58.6)
7.9
(46.2)
0.0
(32.0)
-5.8
(21.6)
7.2
(45.0)
Precipitation mm (inches) 2.7
(0.106)
4.9
(0.193)
8.3
(0.327)
21.2
(0.835)
34.2
(1.346)
78.1
(3.075)
185.2
(7.291)
159.7
(6.287)
45.5
(1.791)
21.8
(0.858)
7.4
(0.291)
2.8
(0.11)
571.8
(22.512)
%humidity 44 44 46 46 53 61 75 77 68 61 57 49 56.8
Avg. precipitation days (>= 0.1 mm) 1.8 2.3 3.3 4.3 5.8 9.7 13.6 12.0 7.6 5.0 3.5 1.7 70.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 194.1 194.7 231.8 251.9 283.4 261.4 212.4 220.9 232.1 222.1 185.3 180.7 2,670.8
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Xian Climate & Terrain

Xi'an has a temperate, semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk) influenced by the East Asian monsoon. The Wei River valley is characterised by hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. Spring and autumn are somewhat brief and dry. Xi'an receives most of its annual precipitation from August to late October in the form of rain. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long. Dust storms often occur during March and April as the city rapidly warms up. Summer months also experience frequent but short thunderstorms. Monthly mean temperatures range from around the freezing mark in January to 26.6 °C (79.9 °F) in July, with an annual average of 13.7 °C (56.7 °F). Extreme temperatures have ranged from -20.6 °C (-5 °F) to 42.9 °C (109 °F).

Climate data for Xi'an (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.8
(40.6)
8.3
(46.9)
13.9
(57.0)
21.0
(69.8)
26.1
(79.0)
31.2
(88.2)
32.1
(89.8)
30.8
(87.4)
25.3
(77.5)
19.5
(67.1)
12.2
(54.0)
6.4
(43.5)
19.3
(66.7)
Average low °C (°F) -3.8
(25.2)
-1.1
(30.0)
3.6
(38.5)
9.5
(49.1)
14.2
(57.6)
19.2
(66.6)
21.9
(71.4)
20.9
(69.6)
15.9
(60.6)
9.9
(49.8)
2.9
(37.2)
-2.5
(27.5)
9.2
(48.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 6.9
(0.272)
9.6
(0.378)
28.6
(1.126)
43.0
(1.693)
60.2
(2.37)
54.4
(2.142)
98.6
(3.882)
70.8
(2.787)
91.6
(3.606)
59.9
(2.358)
23.9
(0.941)
5.8
(0.228)
553.3
(21.783)
humidity 66 63 66 67 68 62 71 75 79 77 74 69 69.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3.6 4.4 6.9 8.4 8.9 9.0 10.0 9.1 10.9 9.7 6.0 3.4 90.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 100.8 103.2 120.8 147.9 171.4 185.3 191.9 195.4 127.0 111.1 98.4 92.8 1,646.0
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Guilin Climate & Terrain

Guilin has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, with mild winters and long, hot, and humid summers. The monsoon is long, lasting from March to August, and a pronounced dry season occurs in fall and winter; the total annual rainfall is 1,920 millimetres (76 in). Mean temperatures range from 8.5 °C (47.3 °F) in January to 28.7 °C (83.7 °F) in July. Snowfall is rare but possible in winter.

Climate data for Guilin (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.5
(52.7)
12.7
(54.9)
16.5
(61.7)
22.7
(72.9)
27.1
(80.8)
30.4
(86.7)
32.6
(90.7)
32.8
(91.0)
30.3
(86.5)
25.6
(78.1)
20.2
(68.4)
15.2
(59.4)
23.1
(73.6)
Average low °C (°F) 5.4
(41.7)
7.0
(44.6)
10.4
(50.7)
15.9
(60.6)
20.1
(68.2)
23.4
(74.1)
24.8
(76.6)
24.5
(76.1)
21.9
(71.4)
17.3
(63.1)
12.1
(53.8)
7.3
(45.1)
15.8
(60.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 63.4
(2.496)
96.7
(3.807)
136.7
(5.382)
247.4
(9.74)
351.7
(13.846)
346.9
(13.657)
231.3
(9.106)
173.3
(6.823)
81.8
(3.22)
65.7
(2.587)
63.6
(2.504)
42.8
(1.685)
1,901.3
(74.854)
% humidity 74 76 80 81 81 82 79 78 73 71 67 67 75.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 15.1 15.5 18.6 20.2 19.0 17.5 16.1 14.8 8.2 9.7 8.7 9.1 172.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 66.9 50.0 51.6 72.6 109.5 131.1 199.4 204.1 193.4 157.1 134.4 117.2 1,487.3
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Chengdu Climate & Terrain

Chengdu has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, and is largely mild and humid. It has four distinct seasons, blessed with abundant rainfall, and relieved from both sweltering summers and freezing winters. Its favorable climate contributes to the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, making Chengdu a comfortable place for sustained human habitat.

The Qin Mountains to the far north help shield the city from cold Siberian winds in the winter; because of this, the short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze. January averages 5.6 °C (42.1 °F) Snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is hot and humid, but not to the extent of the "Three Furnaces" cities of Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing, all which lie in the Yangtze basin. July and August average around 25 °C (77 °F), with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33 °C (91 °F); sustained heat in the likes of some cities in Southeastern China is rare. Rainfall is common year-round but is the greatest in July and August, with very little of it in the cooler months. Chengdu also has one of the lowest sunshine totals in China (less sunshine annually than London), and most days are cloudy and overcast even if without rain. This is especially so in the winter months, when it is typically interminably grey and dreary, compounding the poor air quality. Spring (March-April) tends to be sunnier and warmer than autumn (October–November). Extremes have ranged from −5.9 °C (21 °F) to 40.0 °C (104.0 °F).

Climate data for Chengdu (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.3
(48.7)
11.2
(52.2)
15.9
(60.6)
21.7
(71.1)
26.0
(78.8)
28.0
(82.4)
29.5
(85.1)
29.7
(85.5)
25.2
(77.4)
20.6
(69.1)
15.8
(60.4)
10.7
(51.3)
20.3
(68.5)
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
(37.0)
4.7
(40.5)
8.2
(46.8)
12.9
(55.2)
17.2
(63.0)
20.5
(68.9)
22.0
(71.6)
21.7
(71.1)
18.6
(65.5)
14.6
(58.3)
9.5
(49.1)
4.5
(40.1)
13.1
(55.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 7.9
(0.311)
12.1
(0.476)
20.0
(0.787)
44.2
(1.74)
78.5
(3.091)
106.8
(4.205)
224.5
(8.839)
201.1
(7.917)
118.8
(4.677)
35.2
(1.386)
15.9
(0.626)
5.2
(0.205)
870.2
(34.26)
% humidity 83 81 79 78 76 81 86 85 85 85 83 84 82.2
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 7.0 8.5 10.9 13.0 14.7 15.2 17.6 15.8 15.6 13.1 7.7 5.2 144.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 53.3 51.4 83.1 113.9 121.7 117.2 131.9 155.0 77.6 59.4 57.2 51.6 1,073.3
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Chongqing Climate & Terrain

Chongqing has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, and for most of the year experiences very humid conditions. Known as one of the "Three Furnaces" of the Yangtze River, along with Wuhan and Nanjing, its summers are long and among the hottest and most humid in China, with highs of 33 to 34 °C (91 to 93 °F) in July and August in the urban area. Winters are short and somewhat mild, but damp and overcast. The city's location in the Sichuan Basin causes it to have one of the lowest sunshine totals annually in China, at only 1055 hours.

Chongqing, with over 100 days of fog per year, is also known as the "Fog City", and a thick layer of fog shrouds it for 68 days per year during the spring and autumn. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, this special weather possibly played a role in protecting the city from being overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army. In recent years, the strong industrial development has degraded the air quality further, and the municipal government has been aggressively trying to improve the city's air quality. The so-called "blue sky days" (days with air quality within or better than slight pollution) number have been on the rise. Conditions are cooler in the southeast part of the municipality due to the higher elevations there.

Climate data for Chongqing (Shapingba District, 1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
12.5
(54.5)
17.4
(63.3)
22.9
(73.2)
26.9
(80.4)
29.4
(84.9)
32.8
(91.0)
33.6
(92.5)
27.7
(81.9)
21.9
(71.4)
16.9
(62.4)
11.6
(52.9)
22.0
(71.6)
Average low °C (°F) 6.0
(42.8)
7.5
(45.5)
11.0
(51.8)
15.3
(59.5)
19.1
(66.4)
22.0
(71.6)
24.6
(76.3)
24.7
(76.5)
20.8
(69.4)
16.4
(61.5)
12.0
(53.6)
7.6
(45.7)
15.6
(60.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 19.5
(0.768)
20.6
(0.811)
36.2
(1.425)
104.6
(4.118)
151.7
(5.972)
171.2
(6.74)
175.4
(6.906)
134.4
(5.291)
127.6
(5.024)
92.4
(3.638)
45.9
(1.807)
24.9
(0.98)
1,104.4
(43.48)
% humidity 83 80 76 77 78 80 76 73 80 84 84 85 79.7
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 10.2 9.9 11.3 14.9 15.6 15.7 12.4 10.5 14.4 15.4 12.2 9.5 152.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 27.3 34.1 67.4 98.0 108.5 109.7 180.1 196.0 102.4 62.5 43.1 25.8 1,054.9
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Lhasa Climate & Terrain

Due to its very high elevation, Lhasa has a cool semi-arid climate with frosty winters and mild summers, yet the valley location protects the city from intense cold or heat and strong winds. The city enjoys nearly 3,000 hours of sunlight annually and is thus sometimes called the "sunlit city" by Tibetans. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −1.6 °C (29.1 °F) and the warmest month is June with a daily average of 16.0 °C (60.8 °F), though nights have generally been warmer in July. The annual mean temperature is 7.98 °C (46.4 °F), with extreme temperatures ranging from −16.5 to 30.4 °C (2 to 87 °F). Lhasa has an annual precipitation of 426 millimetres (16.8 in) with rain falling mainly in July, August and September. The driest month is January at 0.8 millimetres (0.03 in) and the wettest month is August, at 120.6 millimetres (4.75 in). The rainy season is widely regarded the "best" of the year as rains come mostly at night and Lhasa is still sunny during the daytime.

Climate data for Lhasa (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
(45.0)
9.3
(48.7)
12.7
(54.9)
15.9
(60.6)
19.9
(67.8)
23.2
(73.8)
22.6
(72.7)
21.4
(70.5)
19.9
(67.8)
17.0
(62.6)
12.1
(53.8)
8.0
(46.4)
15.8
(60.4)
Average low °C (°F) −9
(15.8)
−5.8
(21.6)
−2.1
(28.2)
1.5
(34.7)
5.6
(42.1)
9.8
(49.6)
10.4
(50.7)
9.7
(49.5)
7.7
(45.9)
2.0
(35.6)
−4.2
(24.4)
−8.2
(17.2)
1.5
(34.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) .8
(0.031)
1.2
(0.047)
2.9
(0.114)
6.1
(0.24)
27.7
(1.091)
71.2
(2.803)
116.6
(4.591)
120.6
(4.748)
68.3
(2.689)
8.8
(0.346)
1.3
(0.051)
1.0
(0.039)
426.5
(16.791)
% humidity 28 26 27 37 44 51 62 66 63 49 38 34 43.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) .7 1.0 1.6 4.3 9.9 14.3 19.1 20.0 15.4 4.5 .7 .6 92.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 250.9 226.7 246.1 248.9 276.6 257.3 227.4 219.6 229.0 281.7 267.4 258.6 2,990.2
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Hong Kong Climate & Terrain

Hong Kong is located on China's south coast, 60 km (37 mi) east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta. It is surrounded by the South China Sea on the east, south, and west, and borders the Guangdong city of Shenzhen to the north over the Shenzhen River. The territory's 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) area consists of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and over 200 offshore islands, of which the largest is Lantau Island. Of the total area, 1,054 km2 (407 sq mi) is land and 50 km2 (19 sq mi) is inland water. Hong Kong claims territorial waters to a distance of 3 nautical miles (5.6 km). Its land area makes Hong Kong the 179th largest inhabited territory in the world.

As much of Hong Kong's terrain is hilly to mountainous with steep slopes, less than 25% of the territory's landmass is developed, and about 40% of the remaining land area is reserved as country parks and nature reserves. Most of the territory's urban development exists on Kowloon peninsula, along the northern edge of Hong Kong Island, and in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories. The highest elevation in the territory is at Tai Mo Shan, 957 metres (3,140 ft) above sea level. Hong Kong's long and irregular coast provides it with many bays, rivers and beaches. On September 18, 2011, UNESCO listed the Hong Kong National Geopark as part of its Global Geoparks Network. Hong Kong Geopark is made up of eight Geo-Areas distributed across the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region.

Despite Hong Kong's reputation of being intensely urbanized, the territory has tried to promote a green environment, and recent growing public concern has prompted the severe restriction of further land reclamation from Victoria Harbour. Awareness of the environment is growing as Hong Kong suffers from increasing pollution compounded by its geography and tall buildings. Approximately 80% of the city's smog originates from other parts of the Pearl River Delta.

Though it is situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate. Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms, and warm air coming from the southwest. Summer is when typhoons are most likely, sometimes resulting in flooding or landslides. Winters are mild and usually start sunny, becoming cloudier towards February; the occasional cold front brings strong, cooling winds from the north. The most temperate seasons are spring, which can be changeable, and autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. Hong Kong averages 1,948 hours of sunshine per year, while the highest and lowest ever recorded temperatures at the Hong Kong Observatory are 36.1 °C (97.0 °F) and 0.0 °C (32.0 °F), respectively.

Climate data for Hong Kong (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18.6
(65.5)
18.9
(66.0)
21.4
(70.5)
25.0
(77.0)
28.4
(83.1)
30.2
(86.4)
31.4
(88.5)
31.1
(88.0)
30.1
(86.2)
27.8
(82.0)
24.1
(75.4)
20.2
(68.4)
25.6
(78.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.3
(61.3)
16.8
(62.2)
19.1
(66.4)
22.6
(72.7)
25.9
(78.6)
27.9
(82.2)
28.8
(83.8)
28.6
(83.5)
27.7
(81.9)
25.5
(77.9)
21.8
(71.2)
17.9
(64.2)
23.24
(73.84)
Average low °C (°F) 14.5
(58.1)
15.0
(59.0)
17.2
(63.0)
20.8
(69.4)
24.1
(75.4)
26.2
(79.2)
26.8
(80.2)
26.6
(79.9)
25.8
(78.4)
23.7
(74.7)
19.8
(67.6)
15.9
(60.6)
21.4
(70.5)
Rainfall mm (inches) 24.7
(0.972)
54.4
(2.142)
82.2
(3.236)
174.7
(6.878)
304.7
(11.996)
456.1
(17.957)
376.5
(14.823)
432.2
(17.016)
327.6
(12.898)
100.9
(3.972)
37.6
(1.48)
26.8
(1.055)
2,398.4
(94.425)
% humidity 74 80 82 83 83 82 81 81 78 73 71 69 78.0
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 5.37 9.07 10.90 12.00 14.67 19.07 17.60 16.93 14.67 7.43 5.47 4.47 137.65
Mean monthly sunshine hours 143.0 94.2 90.8 101.7 140.4 146.1 212.0 188.9 172.3 193.9 180.1 172.2 1,835.6
Source: Hong Kong Observatory

Shanghai Climate & Terrain

Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa) and experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly and damp, and cold northwesterly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, although most years there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summers are hot and humid, with an average of 8.7 days exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) annually; occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms can be expected. The city is also susceptible to typhoons in summer and the beginning of autumn, none of which in recent years has caused considerable damage. The most pleasant seasons are Spring, although changeable and often rainy, and Autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. The city averages 4.2 °C (39.6 °F) in January and 27.9 °C (82.2 °F) in July, for an annual mean of 16.1 °C (61.0 °F). Shanghai experiences on average 1,878 hours of sunshine per year, with the hottest temperature ever recorded at 40.2 °C (104 °F), and the lowest at -12.1 °C (10 °F).

Climate data for Shanghai (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
(46.6)
9.2
(48.6)
12.8
(55.0)
19.1
(66.4)
24.1
(75.4)
27.6
(81.7)
31.8
(89.2)
31.3
(88.3)
27.2
(81.0)
22.6
(72.7)
17.0
(62.6)
11.1
(52.0)
20.2
(68.4)
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
(34.0)
2.2
(36.0)
5.6
(42.1)
10.9
(51.6)
16.1
(61.0)
20.8
(69.4)
25.0
(77.0)
24.9
(76.8)
20.6
(69.1)
15.1
(59.2)
9.0
(48.2)
3.0
(37.4)
12.9
(55.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 50.6
(1.992)
56.8
(2.236)
98.8
(3.89)
89.3
(3.516)
102.3
(4.028)
169.6
(6.677)
156.3
(6.154)
157.9
(6.217)
137.3
(5.406)
62.5
(2.461)
46.2
(1.819)
37.1
(1.461)
1,164.7
(45.854)
% humidity 75 74 76 76 76 82 82 81 78 75 74 73 76.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 9.7 10.3 13.9 12.7 12.1 14.4 12.0 11.3 11.0 8.1 7.0 6.5 129.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 123.0 115.7 126.0 156.1 173.5 147.6 217.8 220.8 158.9 160.8 146.6 147.7 1,894.5
Source: China Meteorological Administration