Dali Weather: Climate and Best Times to Go

Dali Weather: Climate and Best Times to Go

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 1, 2021

Dali lies at a low latitude in the northern hemisphere (about 25 degrees) and on a high plateau (about 1,975 meters above sea level). The climate of Dali is generally characterized as a subtropical highland monsoon climate, with lots of sunshine and fresh air.

Dali has a relatively temperate climate year-round, with no extremes in summer or in winter. The temperature ranges from 18°C (64°F) to 25°C (77°F) in summer and from 4°C (39°F) to 17°C (62°F) in winter on average.

Dali's blue sky and white cloudDALI

Quick Climate Info

  • Warmest month: June — the average high is 25°C (77°F)
  • Coolest month: January — the average temperature is 2°C (35°F)
  • Daily temperature range: summer 9°C (43°F), winter 13°C(55°F)
  • Wettest month: August (with a moderate 210mm or 8 inches of rain)
  • Dry months: November–April (less than 50mm or 2 inches of rain/snow)

The daily temperature variation tends to be greater than the seasonal variation in temperature, which calls for layered clothing, or jackets and sweaters early in the morning and again during the evening.

Given that the city is located on a flat plateau between a mountain range (Cangshan to the west) and a large lake (Erhai Lake to the east), creating a natural wind tunnel, Dali gets a great deal of wind, year-round. Dali is nicknamed "Windy City".

The Best Times to Visit Dali

Erhai Lake in MarchERHAI LAKE IN MARCH

The best times to visit Dali are from March to May and mid-October to November. During these periods, Dali has fine weather and little rain, which is very suitable for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Erhai Lake and the Cangshan Mountains are beautiful in March and April, when the flowers are in full bloom.

Most rainfall is seen from June to October. These months should be avoided if you don't like rain.

Dali is also a good place for a winter holiday in China — highlights are the relatively mild temperature, warm sunshine, black-headed gulls on Erhai Lake, and the Cangshan Mountain's snow-capped peaks.

Dali Average Temperature by Month

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High (ºC) 17 18 21 24 27 26 26 26 25 23 20 17
Low (ºC) 4 5 8 11 14 18 18 17 16 13 8 4
Rain (mm) 17 27 33 25 66 177 180 220 160 114 35 15
High (ºF) 62 64 69 74 79 78 78 78 76 72 67 62
Low (ºF) 38 41 46 51 57 63 64 62 60 54 46 39
Rain (in) 0.7 1.1 1.3 1 2.6 7 7.1 8.7 6.3 4.5 1.4 0.6

Spring in Dali — Bright and Warm

Bike around Erhai Lake in springBIKE AROUND IN SPRING

Spring is from March to May. Dali in spring is sunny, bright, and comfortable. The azaleas begin to blossom on the Cangshan Mountains; the once black and dark mountain starts blushing. The crystal blue Erhai Lake is rippled in the breezes, but usually still reflecting a clear sky. Spring is a fantastic season for a visit.

Temperatures differ greatly between day and night. Prepare long-sleeve shirts, thick sweaters, and a coat. Convenient and comfortable layers are practical for taking on and off.

Things to Do

  • Enjoy the vivacious scenery in the Cangshan Mountains.
  • Bike around Erhai Lake and feel the energy of spring.
  • Join the Month Three Street Festival held from the 15th to 21st of the third lunar month each year (in April/May). It is a big fair.

See The Ultimate 7 Things to Do in Dali for more inspiration.

Recommended Tours

All the above tours can be adjusted. Contact us to create a trip according to your requirements.

Summer in Dali — Mild and Humid

ATV experience in Cangshan Shimenguan Scenic AreaATV EXPERIENCE IN CANGSHAN SHIMENGUAN SCENIC AREA

Summer is from June to September. Average temperatures are from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). If you are looking for a place to escape the summer heat, Dali is an ideal choice, especially on the Cangshan Mountains.

However, summer brings the rainy season to Dali. The rain falls mainly in July and August. It cools down after the rain. Prepare summer clothes, such as shirts, shorts, and skirts, and a light coat or sweater for early morning and evening. An umbrella and waterproofs are also needed. Sun protection is important because UV rays is very strong in summer.

Things to Do

  • Cool off at Cangshan Shimenguan Scenic Area.
  • Wander around Dali Old Town and enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea.
  • Learn Bai tie-dye in Zhoucheng — the largest Bai township in Dali

Tell us what you'd like to do, any ideas and requirements about the trip, and we will create a trip based on your needs.

Autumn in Dali — Clear and Dry

Shaxi TownSHAXI ANCIENT TOWN

Autumn is from October to November. Dali begins to enter the dry season. Compared with spring and summer, Dali is less vital and lively in autumn, but the climate is more temperate with a laid-back vibe.

The wind shakes expansive golden wheat fields. The clouds scud across the blue sky. The daily temperature difference in autumn is large. It will be a little chilly in the morning and evening. Warmer clothing like sweaters, jackets, and coats is required during this period. At noon, the temperature increases gradually. Long-sleeve shirts are suitable. Bring rain gear if you come in early autumn.

Things to Do

  • Go to Shaxi Ancient Town to find the Ancient Tea Horse Road.
  • Visit the Three Pagodas — standing for centuries, they witnessed the prevalence of Buddhism in Dali.
  • Enjoy the quiet vibe in Xizhou Town and appreciate the unique Bai houses there.

Recommended Tours

Winter — Dry and Clear

Feed the black-headed gull in Erhai LakeFEED THE GULL IN ERHAI LAKE

Winter is from December to February. It rarely snows in Dali city. But you could see snow on the Cangshan Mountains. The snow-capped peaks are one of the features of Dali's winter.

Although the temperature is a little low in the morning, the sun always shines after 12pm. The temperature will rise to 15°C (59°F) to 19°C (66°F). It is a great time for outdoor activities from 12pm to 5pm. 

Though Dali will be a little chilly, it is still a comfortable place for a winter holiday compared with wetter southern cities and colder northern cities.

Bring warm clothes such as down jackets, thick sweaters and trousers. Winter in Dali is dry. So, don't forget to prepare moisturizers.

Things to Do

  • Play with the black-headed gulls from Siberia, flying in to spend the winter at Erhai Lake,
  • Take a cable car up to the Cangshan Mountains to see the snow-capped peak.
  • Discover the ancient streets, ancient stage, and centuries-old bridge in Shaxi Town.

Recommended Tours

Find Your Ideal Dali Trip Here

All our tours are customizable. Feel free to contact us with your requirements or anything you want to let us know. We will create a trip for you based on your needs and interests. See our popular Dali tours for inspiration:

Dali Average Monthly Temperatures

Dali Average Monthly Temperatures

Dali Average Monthly Precipitation (in)

Dali Average Monthly Precipitation

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