Beijing Weather, Climate, Seasons
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The Climate of Beijing
The climate in Beijing is of the continental monsoon type, with cold and dry winters and hot summers. January is the coldest month (-4 Celsius), while July is the warmest (28 Celsius).
The seasonal variation is dramatic because of two influences: hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone.
There are four distinct
seasons in Beijing. Although spring and autumn might be
the best choice weatherwise, all four seasons have their
beauty, and because weather in Beijing is invariably
'blue sky' (250 days per year on average), even winter is
a pleasant season if you are suitably dressed for the
(dry) cold. Luckily, in Beijing you do not need
particularly good weather to have a good time. Talk of
dust storms is greatly exaggerated. However, the heat and
cold are very real - but part of the charm.
Summer days are often dry but occasionally the weather is very humid (this is often mistaken for pollution).
The temperature in summer can peak at 40 degrees centigrade. So if you are a mad Englishman, visit in July and August when you can get more sun than anywhere in the mediterranean! However, you can choose to spend your time relaxing in shady beer gardens - and ice cold drinks and icecream are copiously available. One will notice that Chinese women are rarely without their with sun umbrella.
In Beijing you can enjoy outdoor eating till late in the evening (April - October). However, in June and July one can guarantee a few thunderous downpours.
In winter, the temperature drops
precipitously at sun-down, but in summer the heat can
persist through the night. It is not uncommon to see
locals walking outside after midnight in shorts and with
their shirts rolled up! Luckily, all hotels have air
conditioning - but it comes as quite a shock to exit into
the heat in the morning.
If you like ice skating on lakes, then visit between December and February when the temperature rarely gets above freezing.
Winters are dry but there is a chance of a little snow. It snows about twice a year in Beijing, usually somewhere in December or January, but no more than 5 inches. The temperature in winter usually ranges from -18 to 5 degrees centigrade, but don't worry - you can pick up a fake 'North Face' jacket in any market. In January, gloves, hat and scarf will also be required - and a pair of long-johns. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -27 degrees centigrade.
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