The north of China sees very cold winters. The city of Harbin holds a world famous ice sculpture competition each year, and the conditions are frigid. Snow blankets much of the north throughout the winter, and this snow can often take on quite the ugly look due to the pollution that will collect upon it.
Summers in the north can be quite stifling. Conditions in Beijing have been recorded well above 40 degrees Celsius, sometimes hotter than what’s recorded in the south. The effects of the deserts on the north are also quite pronounced. Dust storms spring up around major cities each year, often blocking out the sun so it can appear like it’s twilight. Many citizens wear facial masks to block the fine grains of sand from getting in their lungs.
China’s south is hot, humid, and wet. There are really only two main seasons in the south, summer and winter. Summer is very hot, and your clothes will often stick to you during the summer months. Expect a lot of rain beginning in late spring, so much so that you’ll be drenched in seconds if you’re caught outside in a squall.
Winter gets quite cold in Southern China. There are no heaters in homes south of the Yellow River, and many people nowadays are buying space heaters. Expect to bundle up in several layers while you’re sitting inside, and you’ll probably discover that it’s warmer outside in the winter months.
The eastern portion of China is bordered by the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. The area will see fluctuations in weather all throughout the year. Typhoons can reach up to cities such as Shanghai toward the end of summer and into the fall, and the winter sees lots of snow in the northern reaches.
China’s east sees humid conditions in the summer months, and cold conditions in the winter. If you’re moving to this area, you’ll need a full wardrobe for the four seasons of the year.
The western portion of China is mountainous. The Himalayas are the most known feature, but there are several other high plateaus in the region. Those plateaus stretch up into Tibet before rising to become the high mountain ranges that border Nepal and India.
To the north there’s the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts. Both are very arid, see little rainfall, and seem to go on forever. Dust storms are common and there’ll be long stretches of nothing but roads leading to the empty horizon. Days are hot and nights are cold, and the further north you go the colder it will get in the winter months. Don’t be surprised to see a light snowfall in some areas late in the year.