In Xiamen (formerly known as Amoy), and on the small neighboring island of Gulangyu (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the climate is subtropical, with mild winters, and hot summers, which are rainy and muggy as well. The city itself is an island, and is located in southeastern China, in the province of Fujian. At a short distance we find other small islands, belonging to Taiwan, the Kinmen Islands (or Jinmen).
Here are the average temperatures.
Xiamen - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)101012162024252524201612
Max (°C)171820242730323230282419
Min (°F)505054616875777775686154
Max (°F)636468758186909086827566

Rainfall is around 1,200 millimetres (48 inches) per year: this area is a little less rainy compared to the neighboring provinces (Zhejiang and Guangdong). The rainiest period is from April to September, when the rainfall exceeds 100 mm (4 in) per month, while the least rainy period is from November to January, when the rainfall drops below 40 mm (1,6 in) per month.
Here is the average precipitation.
Xiamen - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)4070901401602101551551204535251235
Prec.(in)1.62.83.55.56.38.36.16.14.71.81.4148.6
Days9121414171710128667132

Winter, from December to February, is mild, with highs around 17/19 °C (63/67 °F). The sun, which shines roughly half the time in December, gradually becomes less frequent, so that there are more and more days with cloudy skies, fog and drizzle. There may also be windy days. Some days can be pleasantly warm, while in others the temperature can drop to around 10/15 °C (50/59 °F) during the day, and the wind can increase the feeling of cold. Occasionally it can even get cold, with lows around 5 °C (41 °F) and highs around 10 °C (50 °F).

Spring, from March to May, is very mild or pleasantly warm, but the sky is almost always cloudy, in addition in March and April there may be fog. In March, a cold wind can still blow, with highs around 13/15 °C (55/59 °F), especially in the first half of the month. In April, with the increase in temperature, the first thunderstorms occur. In May, there is already often a sultry heat, though less than in the summer months.

The long summer, from June to September, is hot, humid and rainy. June is the wettest month, and it is not very sunny, then the situation improves a bit. Daytime temperatures are around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F). The humidity produces a sensation of heat, but luckily, the breeze blows from the sea. Usually, the heat remains muggy even at night: lows rarely drop below 25 °C (77 °F), but they can also remain around 28/29 °C (82/84 °F). On sunny days, the temperature can reach 35 °C (95 °F). In July, there is often a pause, a period of good weather lasting a week or two.
The probability of typhoons, which bring heavy rains and strong winds for a few days, with the risk of flooding and landslides, is highest in this season.

In the short autumn, in October and November, the rains become rare and generally not abundant, and the sun is a bit more frequent than in the other seasons. In the first part of October the heat can still be muggy, but gradually becomes more pleasant; in this month, however, and sometimes even in the first half of November, tropical cyclones can still arrive. In November, the temperature is generally pleasant, with highs around 24 °C (75 °F), but cool and windy days gradually become more likely, and sometimes, in the second part of the month, it can get a bit cold.

Xiamen

The amount of sunshine in Xiamen is not great all year round, and it's scarce from February to May, when the sky is often overcast. In July and August, the sun shines paradoxically more often, since the rains occur in the form of downpour or thunderstorm, which do not last long, so that the sun will shine again soon, except when typhoons hit the area. In autumn, the amount of sunshine remains acceptable or improves slightly, however, cloudy days are possible in this season as well.
Xiamen - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours433445876655

The sea is warm enough for swimming from May to October, and it becomes pleasantly warm from June to September. In winter, the South China Sea at this latitude is quite cool, if not cold: it drops to 17 °C (63 °F) in January and February.
Xiamen - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)171718212426282827252219
Temp (°F)636364707579828281777266

Typhoons


As mentioned earlier, Xiamen can be hit by typhoons, tropical cyclones of Southeast Asia. Typically, typhoons occur in this area from June to early November, but sometimes they have affected this area outside of this period, as happened in May 2006 with Typhoon Chanchu (or Caloy).

When to go


It's not easy to find the best time to visit Xiamen. Winter can be a good period, but it is not so mild, in addition in the second part the sky is often cloudy; moreover, it can be windy, and sometimes, though rarely, it can be a little cold. Spring is mild or pleasantly warm, but it's also cloudy and rainy, then by May the air is muggy and there is some risk (though still low) of typhoons. In theory, autumn is the best season, but in October a typhoon can still affect this area, while in November there can be the first cool and windy days, and sometimes at the end of the month, it can already be a little cold. All in all, the best times are the month of April, and from mid-October to late November. Those who stand the heat can also choose the July-September period.

What to pack


In winter: spring/autumn clothes, a sweatshirt or sweater, a jacket, a raincoat or umbrella, a hat for colder days.
In summer: tropics-friendly, lightweight clothing, a light sweatshirt for air-conditioned places, a light raincoat or umbrella.