As the world’s third largest country by land area, China’s weather varies dramatically from region to region. From the Uyghur outcrops in Central Asia to seasonal Beijing in the northeast and all the coast, countryside and cities in between, we’d be lying to say you’ll have consistent weather when travelling through China.

It all comes down to the trends to get a grasp of China’s climate. Most of China is very hot in July and August, and northern China gets bitterly cold with snow in the winter months (December-February). Northern inland China gets hot and dry summers, whereas Shanghai and parts of coastal and southern China have clear monsoon seasons, generally between April and September.

Here’s a bit more of a taste on what to expect in China’s hotspots:

Weather in Beijing

Beijing has four distinct seasons, with hot, dry summers and cold, frosty winters. Late winter and early spring can often bring a dust storm rolling in from the Gobi Desert. Three-quarters of Beijing’s average yearly rainfall (approximately 570 mm) falls from June to August.

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

19°C/66°F

6°C/43°F

 June to August 

30°C/87°F

20°C/68°F

 September to November 

18°C/65°F

7°C/45°F

 December to February 

3°C/37°F

-8°C/18°F

Weather in Shanghai

Rainfall in Shanghai is concentrated to the stormy monsoon months – late spring through summer – and the rest of the year is relatively dry and settled. Summers are hot and humid, with some freak thunderstorms rolling through, on occasion. Winter is shorter, cool, and often cloudy with drizzle.

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

19°C/66°F

11°C/51°F

 June to August 

30°C/87°F

23°C/74°F

 September to November 

22°C/72°F

15°C/59°F

 December to February 

9°C/48°F

1°C/34°F

Weather in Xi'an

Xi’an and the surrounding area, again, has four clear seasons. Snow occasionally falls in winter, and dust storms rip through the city in March and April as temperatures dramatically rise. One of Xi’an’s major problems is its air – having some of the poorest air quality in the country.

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

20°C/68°F

9°C/48°F

 June to August 

30°C/87°F

20°C/68°F

 September to November 

19°C/66°F

10°C/50°F

 December to February 

6°C/43°F

-3°C/27°F

Weather in Yangshuo

To keep Yangshuo picturesque and green, rainfall is high and concentrated. Summers are super hot with frequent downpours, and winter brings with it grey skies and cool damp temperatures. Late September to early November are the ideal times to visit Yangshuo and the Li River. Snow in Yangshuo is very rare.

MONTH

 AVERAGE HIGH 

 AVERAGE LOW 

 March to May 

23°C/73°F

16°C/60°F

 June to August 

32°C/89°F

24°C/75°F

 September to November 

26°C/80°F

16°C/60°F

 December to February 

13°C/56°F

6°C/43°F

Click to read about the best time to visit China

Click to read our China packing guide

Click to return to China FAQs

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