Suzhou is located in the lower reach of the Yangtze River, belonging to the monsoon ocean climate zone, with four distinctive seasons and abundant rainfall. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are cold and damp. The hottest month is July, with an average temperature at 28 °C (82 °F), and the coldest month is January, with an average temperature at 4 °C (39 °F).
The average yearly precipitation is about 1100 mm (43 inches), and the "plum rain season" is from June and July, characterized by gloomy and rainy weather. In winter it rarely snows, but it still feels cold with the dampness. The best times for traveling in Suzhou are spring and autumn. With about 2 hours drive from Shanghai, Suzhou has similar weather with Shanghai. Have a look at our Suzhou Tour Packages and choose your time of travel.
Spring is from March to May, with generally warm and pleasant weather. Though there are sharp and frequent intervals of temperature changes, spring is the best time for traveling in Suzhou. Sweaters and coats are enough to cope with the weather, but also prepare long-sleeve shirts for the day when it gets warmer. Visit the nearby water towns such as Zhouzhuang and Tongli will offer you great views. (See our special report on China's famous ancient towns)
Summer is from June to September, with very hot and humid weather. The highest temperature occurs in July, with the highest temperature sometimes reaching up to 38 °C (100 °F). Wearing sunglasses and sun screen and drinking lots of water is recommended. Sudden heavy rains frequent in summer, so it is suggested to prepare raincoat or umbrella while traveling in summer. Wear any summer clothes such as shorts, skirts and T-shirts.
Autumn is from October to November. Autumn is one of the best seasons of the year for traveling in Suzhou, with the weather being generally sunny, cool and dry. There are sharp and frequent intervals of temperature changes. Long-sleeve T-shirts and sweater or coat are enough to cope with the weather.
Winter is from December to February, with the coldest period being from late January till early February, which is usually during the Spring Festival. Winter is Suzhou is characterized by cold north wind and heavy humidity. Although the winter temperature in Suzhou is not as low as cities in North China, and it seldom snows, it still feels very cold with the heavy humidity.
The average low and high temperature in December is respectively at 3 °C (37 °F) and 11 °C (52 °F), in January at 0 °C (33 °F) and 8 oC (46 °F), in February at 2 °C (35 °F) and 9 °C (48 °F). Prepare down jackets, thick jeans, sweaters, scarves and umbrella. Winter is considered the off season, so Suzhou is less crowded and it is cheaper to travel.