Originally posted on TESall.com. It was a long hard write, so what the hell....
The differences in climate may be bigger than you realize. China is HUGE...the distance from the Siberian border in the Northeast to Hainan Island off the southeast coast is about the same as from New York to Peru, or from London to the Niger River.
In general, all of China gets extremely hot in Summer, at least for a while, with the exception of areas at high altitudes- mostly in the far southwest. All of China can get uncomfortably cold in the winter, at least for a while, with the possible exception of some distinctly tropical patches- mostly in the deep south. Spring and Autumn are glorious almost everywhere here.
However, I don't think there are any places with the same weather pattern most of the year. Probably the closest thing is the far southeast/south central. Places like Fujian, Guangdong, and Guangxi Provinces along the coast are hot and steamy much of the time...too much for me. Even these places will get icy blasts out of Siberia from time to time in winter. If you go far enough down and away from the coast you will encounter jungles and monsoon rains in season...these provinces border Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.
At the other extreme is the far northeast- the Provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. In many areas here there isn't anything between you and Siberia except barbed-wire fences, and you can count on it being _bitterly_ cold for 4-5 months out of the year. Cold snaps can run to near -50C. Here, the borders are with Mongolia, Siberian Russia, and salubrious North Korea. The coastal areas of Liaoning, including cities like Dalian, have it a tiny bit easier but this is very much a relative thing- it's still damn cold in the winter. Even these places are uncomfortably hot for a few weeks in Summer.
T and Qinghai are at very high altitudes and tend to be cool...very cold in winter but maybe not the extreme that the northeast gets. Xinjiang in the far northwest is largely arid desert, but the river valleys can be very pleasant places. All of Xinjiang can get roasting hot in Summer and quite cold in Winter.
The northern cities such as Beijing (independent municipality), Xian (Shaanxi Province), and Tianjin (independent municipality) are at the cool end of the temperate range. Both summers and especially winters can be brutal there. Same is true of Shanghai (independent municipality), Suzhou and Nanjing (both Jiangsu Province), and Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province)- here the weather is nice much of the time but Summers are really stinky and Winters can be surprisingly cold and windy. Chongqing (a municipality associated with Sichuan Province), Changsha (Hunan Province), Wuhan (Hubei Province) and Nanchang (Jiangxi Province) are known collectively as the "Furnace Cities", with especially sweltering, humid Summers...pretty much true anywhere along the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) Valley.
Rainfall will be most frequent along the coast, along the 2 big river valleys (Yellow and Chang Jiang), in the steamy subtropical deep southeast, and in the misty mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan. The far west, the far north, and the northeast are all pretty arid...maybe too arid. Heavy snows fall most north of the Yellow River and in the high mountains of the far west. By the time you reach the Chang Jiang river, even a light dusting of snow becomes a rarity.
Many regard the best weather in China to be in Yunnan Province, in cities like Kunming. You're far south here, but the elevation is very high. Kunming has Spring-like weather much of the year...moderate, misty, and rainy. However, it's also extremely popular with foreigners and not highly developed and rich when compared with east China, so finding a job with decent pay here is tough. My personal pick is the area around Shanghai- from Qingdao in Shandong to Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, as far west as Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. Mostly tolerable weather and a booming economy.
There is no perfect weather in China, and there is no completely abysmal weather here. It's all a set of trade-offs. The thing to do is decide what you like and find the area that comes closest to that.George61 added:
The weather in Shandong seems to be remarkably stable. In three years here, I have only seen one or two bad storms...heavy rain, strong winds, etc. These were the tails of the typhoons that hit Southern China. Yes we get heavy rains occasionally, and the temperature drops below - with the summer being very hot, but overall it is liveable. And as the previous poster(
) wrote, Spring and Autumn are EXCELLENT seasons.Vegemite added:
The weather here in Hailaer, Inner Mongolia, is all over the place - it varies dramatically. During summer it became quite stable, nice highs of 35 - 40C. In spring it fluctuated incredibly. I remember oneday coming home at 12 and it was 30C, by the time I returned to school (two hours) later is was down to 5C. Spring was the season of colds and flus for all.
This morning we might be getting our first snow of the season. For the last couple of days the locals have kept swearing that it's going to snow this week...today it's overcast and it was 3C when I took the dog out for her morning stroll. Cold! People are all wrapped up - just two days ago some were still in tee-shirts.
I'm not looking forward to winter. We arrived here at the end of February this year and that was cold enough for me - -30C. Brrr...thank goodness for radiators.Cheekygal added:
Beijing weather sucks. It changes whenever and however. Just on Saturday it was hot and Sunday the temperature dropped to the level where I had to wear long sleeved shirt plus a sweater!
Normally summers are hot and humid and around September it starts getting dryer. Winters are windy and cold though with occasional sun treatments. Temperature in winter drops to -20...25C and in summer reaches at times to +35C (if not more). February is probably the coldest month with strong winds. Sand storms in spring. Rains too in almost every season (except for winter of course). Local people say that Beijing has a four seasons weather - sometimes it literally changes 4 times a day but in a more hectic way: it can be warm and suddenly it snows or rains etc.