China has a marked continental monsoon
climate characterized by great variety. Most parts of China are in the northern
temperate zone while parts of the southern area are in the tropical or
subtropical zone and parts of the northern area in the Frigid Zone.
Most of China lies in the north temperature
zone, characterized by a warm climate and clear division between seasons, a
climate well suited for habitation. In winter, northerly winds from high
latitude areas keep the northern parts cold and dry; while in summer, monsoons
from eastern and southern coastal areas bring warmness and moisture.
The climate also varies with the extensive
territory and various topography from region to region.
In northern China, summer is warm and short,
while winter is cold and long. In southern China, summer is long, humid and hot,
and the winter short and warm, with temperature rarely below freezing. In
central China (the valley area along the Yangtze River), division between
seasons is clear -- summer is long, hot and humid while winter, short and cold.
In northwestern China, such as Xinjiang and
Inner Mongolia, summer is dry and sweltering and winter is formidably cold. On
the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (about 4,000 meters above sea level) in southwestern
China, winter is extremely cold and summer is short and moderately warm, with
little precipitation and great difference in temperature between day and night.
China sees various other types of climate
due to its vast territory. Temperature belts from south to north appear in this
order: tropical zone, subtropical zone, temperate zone, medium temperate zone
and frigid temperate zone. There is also a vertical climatic zone on the
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwestern China.
Situated in the eastern part of the Asian
continent and facing the Pacific, China also has a prominent monsoon climate. In
addition, other types of climate, such as alpine climate, plateau climate,
desert climate, forest climate and basin climate, coexist in China, due to
complicated topography and a great disparity in elevation.
Most of China has a continental monsoon
climate. From September to April of the following year, the dry and cold winter
monsoon blow from Siberia and the Mongolian Plateau, resulting in cold and dry
winters and great differences in the temperatures of northern and southern
China. From April to September, warm and humid summer monsoons blow from the
seas in the east and south, resulting in overall high temperatures and plentiful
rainfall, and little difference in the temperatures of northern and southern
In addition, cold wave, cyclone,
intermittent drizzles and typhoon are also the results of monsoon climate.
Caused by monsoon, the rainy season runs from May through to August and typhoons
frequently occur in the southeast coast between July and September.
China has an average annual precipitation of
629 millimeters, which is unevenly distributed both regionally and seasonally.
Precipitation gradually declines from the southeastern area to the northwestern
inland area. Influenced by the oceanic warm and humid air current, most
southeastern coastal areas in China have rich rainfall, which reaches over 1,500
millimeters, while in northwestern areas annual precipitation drops to below 200
China's average temperature gradually
declines from the eastern area to the northern area. The Mohe area of
Heilongjiang Province at the northernmost tip of China, located north of
Northern Latitude 53¡ã, has a frigid temperate averaging -5¡ãC. Zengmu Ansha in
Hainan Province at the southern end, only 400 kilometers from the equator, is
dominated by the equatorial climate with an average temperature of 25¡ãC. Most
parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have a temperature below 0¡ãC. Thus, there is
great temperature difference between the south and the north.
In summer, the temperature is high
nationwide, and temperature difference is small between the north and the south.
In winter, most areas in China are cold and the temperature varies greatly
between northern and southern parts, with the biggest difference up to 50¡ãC. In
Mohe, the lowest temperature in a year can reach 52.3¡ãC, while that in Sanya,
Hainan, is above 20¡ãc.