The weather in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry Winters, due to the Siberian air masses that move southward across the Mongolian Plateau. The Summers are hot owing to warm and humid monsoon winds from the south-east bringing Beijing most of its annual precipitation. January is the coldest month and July is the warmest. Winter usually begins towards the end of October. The Summer months, June to August, are wet and hot with about 40% of the annual precipitation.
Climate Data Table for Beijing
Days of rainfall
Tips for Beijing Weather
Best season to visit Beijing:
Summer (June to August) is considered peak season, when hotels typically raise their rates and the Great Wall groans under the weight of marching tourists. The Autumn months between September and November have the best weather and fewer tourists. Spring is less pleasant; not many tourists but lots of wind and dust. In Winter, you'll have Beijing to yourself and many hotels will offer substantial discounts - just remember it's icy outside.
Everywhere is booked-out during the Chinese New Year (usually in January or February).
Clothes for travelling:
In Autumn, jeans and a sweater are usually enough. In the warmer months, T-shirts and light pants or shorts are the best bet. In the colder months, it is wise to dress in layers: long underwear and jeans, shirt, sweater and down jacket. If you want to go local, you can buy a thick cotton army coat (jun da yi) for less than 100 yuan ($14.00). Rain gear is necessary, especially during the Summer months.
Avoid Peak Holidays:
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.
An umbrella should be carried in case of unexpected rainfall, and sun-glasses and sun-block cream are advised to protect you from high UV, especially in summer.