The weather of Silk Road differs in provinces as this long line channel across over more than a half of China, passing a string of cities. Silk Road keeps four distinctive seasons but it is relatively dry compared with some eastern and southern areas in response to its location stretching on the earth of northwest China.
Generally, the weather condition of the whole Silk Road presents the tendency: the highest temperature occurs in summer in one year and early afternoon in one day, the lowest temperature in winter in one year and dawn in one day; humidity and rain capacity declines from southeast to northwest; temperature difference in one day & year gets bigger from east to west; climate in some area needs to be treated separately, such as Xinjiang.
The Highlights of Silk Road mainly lie in Xian of Shaanxi Province, Lanzhou & Zhangye & Dunhuang in Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Turpan & Urumqi & Kashgar in Xinjiang Province. Based on the weather conditions in those area and cities, you are suggested to do the Silk Road Tour during May to October if you expect a thrilling Silk Road adventure.
Weather and climate elements always occupy an important part in a tour plan & preparation, especially in Silk Road Tour, such a long line tour passing many areas with different climates. Prepare and adjust your cloth and luggage according to the following details of the highlight cities along Silk Road will cause some possible problems for your tour.
The weather in Xian, Shaanxi
Xi’an locates at warm temperate zone with semi-humid continental monsoon climate. The different four seasons have totally distinct appearance in a year. Summer is hot and wet with much rain, winter is cold and dry with less rain or snow, while spring and autumn is warm but likely to have continuous rainy days.
Hottest days are usually in July with an average temperature around 27 C (81 F) and coldest days in January with the average low temperature around 0 C (32 F). The annual average temperature is about 13.5 C (56.3 F).
In a whole year, Xi’an has a moderate rainfall with 550-700mm average precipitation. There is rain in spring, summer and autumn and snow in winter for you to enjoy. Xi’an will not let you feel boring with its distinct seasons.
Of course there are the best times in Xi’an for people to have a visit. With the mild weather condition, March to May and September to October are the two glory time to enjoy the beauty of the ancient city.
The must-see attractions in Xian: Terracotta Warriors, City Wall, Bell & Drum Tower, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Muslim Quarter, Tomb for Emperor Jing in Han Dynasty, Huaqing Hot Spring……
The weather in Lanzhou, Gansu Province
Lanzhou is under a typical temperate continental semiarid and arid monsoon climate. The altitude of the Lanzhou downtown is 1520m on average and the mean annual temperature is around 10°C. Both temperature difference in one day and one year is big. There is no too much annual precipitation in Lanzhou due to its semiarid climate and remote distance from the oceans, keeping average 310mm throughout a year.
Distinct four seasons run the year around, forever exposing travelers a fresh and alive impression. Winter goes through a long time here with little rain all snow, letting coldness and dryness become the first idea for people come here; spring and autumn fleets soon and experiences a quite volatile weather and temperature; summer also doesn’t occupy too much time, feeling hot but never scorching, hence Lanzhou is an ideal place for people to retreat to be free from the heat in other cities, such as Chongqing and Wuhan.
The best time for travelers to carry out a tour in Lanzhou is from May to October when the temperature and climate is relatively gentle and proper for travelling.
The must-see attractions in Lanzhou: Yellow River Custom Tourist Line, Bingling Temple Grottoes
The weather in Zhangye, Gansu
Weather in Zhangye shares similar features with Lanzhou’s: continental climate, 7.5 °C annual temperature in average, 131mm average annual rainfall—dry all year around. Four seasons also show distinct faces in Zhangye with cold winter and hot summer as well as soon but gentle spring & spring.
From July to September, Zhangye greets the best time for tourism. Not too dry, cold or hot, it is perfect for travelers to appreciate this city, either natural or historical sight views.
The must-see attraction sites in Zhangye: Danxia Landform, Giant Buddhist Temple
The weather in Dunhuang, Gansu Province
Located in the temperate continental arid climate zone, Dunhuang obviously characterized by dryness, less rainfall, large evaporation, large temperature difference between day and night as well as lots of sunshine all year around. It maintains 39.9mm average annual precipitation, 2486mm evaporation and 3246.7 hours for duration of sunshine. This climate incurs the four distinctive seasons to Dunhuang which majorly manifest as warm and windy spring, hot summer, cool autumn as well as cold winter.
These obvious different features in four seasons certainly demands the traveler to plan their tour here accordingly. The possible sand storms in spring and cold weather as well as bare views in winter brings to the fact that summer and autumn are the most proper time to travel here, specifically showing in May to October.
The must-see attractions in Dunhuang: Mogao Grottoes, Singing Sands Mountain, Crescent Lake
The weather in Qinghai Province
Qinghai Province lies on the northeast part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, over the sea level about 3000m in average, which results in the plateau continental climate here. The geographical conditions of Qinghai is diversified and complex, and along with it comes the complicated weather conditions. It is has longer sunshine hours, less rainfall and more evaporation than that of Gansu Province, showing up as following detailed date: more than 2500 sunshine hours all year, cold and long winter time, cool and short summer, large temperature difference in day and night as well as in four seasons, also large rainfall difference in the southeast area and northwest in Qinghai.
One more special trait of Qinghai weather is that it is an area where natural hazard happens easily. Gale and sand storm affects the local life in spring and autumn while storm and flood happens frequently in summer and drought in winter.
The best time for people to recreate themselves in Qinghai is from May to October, especially in July when there is vast sea of yellow rape flower in Menyuan nearby Qinghai Lake
The must-see attractions in Qinghai: Qinghai Lake, Chaka Salt Lake, Ta’er Temple, Riyue Mountain
The weather in Turpan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Belonging to the continental dry and desert climate, Turpan is the hottest place and one of the driest places in China. It is quite common for the 40 °C and above happening here in summer. The annual average temperature here is up to 14.4 °C and the sunshine time here is over 3000 hours all year around. The annual rainfall in average less than 20mm forms a stark contrast with the abundant heat here.
Each season in Turpan holds distinct features. The heavy drought and gale is common in the short spring; summer is burning hot and little rain, accompanied with dry hot wind; autumn follows the long summer time and treat people with lovely weather: cool, sunny day, large temperature difference in day and night; Not lasting long time, the winter here is short but dry and cold with lots of sunny days.
Duration from July to September is the best time to carry out your tour plan in Turpan, Xinjiang.
The must-see attractions in Turpan, Xinjiang: Flaming Mountains, Jiaohe Runis, Grape Valley, Karez Well.
The weather in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Urumqi has the temperate continental climate with longer summer and winter as well as shorter spring and autumn. Not as dry as the climate of Turpan, Urumqi enjoys 194mm rainfall a year in average, which endows this land more gentle environment to travel for people. There is seldom extreme heat in Urumqi’s summer but a little chill in winter at average minus 15.2°C in the coldest January.
All these characteristics showing in the specific four seasons is in the following descriptions. Spring comes a little late in the end of March with abundant rainfall to moisten all creatures on this earth; Urumqi in summer is a quite dreamy resort with lovely temperature and natural views as all the city is decorated with the colorful flowers popping out all over and green plants covered the surface of the city land but one thing need to be noted is that there is big difference in day and night; winter is long and cold in Urumqi because it is embraced by mountains from three sides which forms a bag-like terrain so that the cold air hardly to escape from it but easily to stay a long time.
According to the above climate features, China Silk Road Tour would suggest the best time to travel in Urumqi from June to October.
The must-see attractions in Urumqi: Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang Regional Museum, Xinjiang International Bazaar, Hongshan Park
The weather in Kashgar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Kashgar belongs to temperate continental arid climate zone with clear four seasons. Affected by the geographic elements here, Urumqi enjoys abundant sunshine each year, leading to the high evaporation here and the heat in summer as well. The specific weather condition of Urumqi is quite complicated: summer is short and hot; winter is long despite of not experiencing too much chill; spring and autumn impresses people a lot with their gale, sand storms and floating dust.
August and September are the best months to visit Kashgar when the fresh fruits just are in season and weather is also pleasant for people.
The must-see attractions in Kashagr: Sunday Market, Abakh Khoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque