Xian, where it is

The climate of Xi'an is continental, with cold and dry winters, and hot and humid summers. The city is located in central China, at 400 metres (1,300 feet) above sea level, and at a latitude not very high, but it is almost a thousand kilometres (600 miles) away from the sea, and it is affected by the continentality of the Asian landmass. On the other hand, the position in a valley and the distance from the sea make the summer heat intense and annoying, while in winter, cold air often stagnates on the ground.
Here are the average temperatures.
Xian - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-304101520222116103-2
Max (°C)591422273132302619126
Min (°F)273239505968727061503728
Max (°F)414857728188908679665443

The capital of the province of Shaanxi (Shensi), Xi'an is also one of the ancient Chinese capitals, and has several interesting monuments, in addition to the famous Terracotta Army. Today it is a metropolis of millions of inhabitants, polluted as often happens in big Chinese cities.
Precipitation amounts to about 560 millimetres (22 inches) per year; due to the monsoon, the rainiest season is summer, while the driest is winter.
Here is the average precipitation.
Xian - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)71025405565100809560207560
Prec.(in)0.30.411.62.22.63.93.13.72.40.80.322
Days346889101012102486

Winter, from December to February, is cold and dry: the average January temperature is 1 degrees Celsius (33.5 °F). Precipitation is rare and not abundant, but the sky is often cloudy. However, considering the low temperatures, there may be some snowfalls, generally light. The cold wind from the north can bring cold snaps, with minimum temperatures around -15 °C (5 °F), as well as the dust of the Gobi Desert. On the other hand, the south wind, which descends from the mountains (Qin mountains), can bring mild days, with highs around 15/20 °C (59/68 °F).

In spring, from March to May, the temperature increases, while rainy days become gradually more frequent. The sunshine amount is just acceptable. In March and April, the clash between air masses can cause sand storms.

Summer, from June to August, is hot and muggy, and it is the rainiest season, as it's influenced by the Asian monsoon. June is already a hot month, but generally the rains and the muggy heat come in July, or during the month of June. However, the rains display an erratic pattern from year to year. The sunshine amount is fairly good, in fact summer is the sunniest season, although there are cloudy days even in this season. The rains occur mainly in the form of downpour or thunderstorm. During some years, the rains can be abundant, causing landslides and flash floods, in watercourses that descend from the mountains, also in September, and in some cases, but more rarely, even in October. Periods of good weather during the summer can be very hot, with highs around 38 °C (100 °F), and in these cases the heat does not give relief even at night. August is usually a bit less hot than June and July, but it is more sultry.

Autumn, from September to November, is initially mild, and gradually becomes cooler, and then quite cold in November, but sometimes it can get cold at night already in October. Rainfall is initially quite frequent: September is even the wettest month of the year. As the weeks pass, rainfall gradually decreases, while the sky remains often cloudy.

Terracotta army

As mentioned, the amount of sunshine is never very good, although some sunny days can occur throughout the year.
Xian - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours334556654333

About 100 km (60 miles) east of Xi'an, and above the city of Huayin, we find Mount Hua (Hua Shan), 2,154 meters (7,070 feet) high, one of the five Chinese sacred mountains. There are temples on slopes and peaks. The path that leads to the top is particularly steep and therefore dangerous. Here winter is freezing, although dry (but sometimes it can snow), while summer, the season when there are more tourists, is cool, but even more rainy than the plains. Here are the average temperatures.
Hua Shan - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-10-6-13713151393-2-7
Max (°C)-305913182119151030
Min (°F)142130374555595548372819
Max (°F)273241485564706659503732

Hua Shan

When to go


The best times to visit Xi'an are spring and autumn, ie the months of April, May and October. In April and October it can sometimes be cold at night, with lows around freezing, while in May and September during the day it can be hot. In general, however, September can be avoided because it is a quite rainy month, with the risk of flooding every so often. Usually in spring it rains less than in autumn. Autumn, in September and October, is similar to spring, but it is a cloudy season, and it's initially rainy.