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Hangzhou has a subtropical monsoon climate, mild and humid. Spring is warm and humid. Summer is hot with lots of rain. Autumn is cool. Winter is cold and dry, sometimes with snow.
The average annual temperature in Hangzhou is 17 °C (62 °F). Average annual precipitation is 1,141 mm (45 inches), and average humidity is 76%. The average annual sunshine totals 1,765 hours.
Hangzhou’s air quality is generally good. The average AQI (Air Quality Index) in Hangzhou is 66 (An index value between 0 and 100 means good; over 100 means polluted.)
The coldest month in Hangzhou is January, with an average daily high of 8°C (46°F). The hottest month is July with an average daily high of 34 °C (92 °F). The driest and rainiest months in Hangzhou are December and June, respectively.
Hangzhou is suitable for travel all year round, but the most pleasant and popular seasons to visit are spring and autumn.
Spring sees the most beautiful scenery around West Lake, with peach blossoms and budding willows. The lake is clear blue and shines in the sun.
Autumn sees the best weather. Comfortable temperatures and relatively dry weather will give you a pleasant tour experience.
Spring is from March to May.
Spring weather: The weather warms up and becomes gradually more humid, but with frequent and sharp changes of temperature and weather conditions. The average daily high and low temperatures are 25°C (77°F) and 14°C (57°F), respectively.
Precipitation: Spring is a humid season, with drizzle. The average total precipitation is 409 mm (16 inches).
Humidity: The average humidity in spring is 77%.
Air quality: The average air quality in spring is okay with AQI 67.
Clothing: Coats and sweaters should be enough to cope with the weather, and also long-sleeved shirts for days when it becomes warmer.
Spring is the best season for a visit to West Lake. The peach blossoms on Su Causeway right across West Lake enhance the lake, making it enchanting.
It sometimes drizzles in spring. The lake, water towns and city itself are shrouded in misty rain, adding misty and subtle colors.
Summer is from June to September.
Summer weather: Summer is hot and rainy. Most rain falls between mid-June and mid-July, when rain and drizzle seem continuous. Average temperatures are usually above 34°C (86°F), and sometimes the highest temperature reaches up to 40°C (104°F).
Precipitation: June and September are the rainiest months with 200 mm (7.8 inches) in each. Rainfall builds up in preceding months and tails off sharply afterwards. In August or September, Hangzhou is occasionally hit by typhoons, which account for the ‘second rainy season’.
Humidity: The average humidity in summer in Hangzhou is 80%. Summer is the wettest season of the year.
Air quality: The air quality in summer is good with average AQI 54. Average air quality in July is best.
Clothing: Wear any summer clothes, such as shirts, shorts and skirts. You are recommended to prepare sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas, and to drink lots of water.
It is very relaxing to visit the nearby water towns in summer, such as Nanxun,Xitang and Wuzhen. During the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in September, osmanthus blossoms are in full bloom, creating fragrance all round the city.
School holidays are in July and August. If you plan to visit during this time, you’d better book tickets and hotels in advance. You usually need to queue up longer before entering scenic spots. A local travel guide would be helpful.
Autumn is from October to November.
Autumn weather: The autumn in Hangzhou is short. Its pleasant dry and cool weather makes it the best time of year to visit Hangzhou. The average high and low temperatures are respectively 23°C (73°F) and 14°C (57°F) in October, and 18°C (64°F) and 9°C (48°F) in November.
Precipitation in autumn: Rainfall decreases in autumn. There is a total of about 131 mm (5 inches) of rain in October and November.
Humidity: The average humidity in autumn is 75%.
Air Quality in autumn: The air quality in October is better than November, with average AQI 58 in October and 69 in November.
Clothing: The weather changes frequently; a light sweater, a coat and a shirt should be enough to cope with it.
Highlights: Enjoy a leisurely time boating on West Lake or walking/biking round the lake.
If you come in autumn, don’t miss the Mid-Autumn Festival. ‘Three Pools Mirroring the Moon’ on West Lake is the no. 1 classic moon-viewing spot in all of China.
Winter is from December to February.
Winter weather: Winter is cold, at just above freezing on average, with high humidity, and it snows sometimes. January is the coldest month with temperatures dropping as low as -3°C (26°F). Average low and high temperatures are respectively 2°C (37°F) and 11°C (51°F) in December, 0°C (33°F) and 7°C (46°F) in January, and 2°C (35°F) and 9°C (48°F) in February.
Precipitation in winter: The average total rainfall in winter is 207 mm (8 inches). It rains least in December while rainfall increases slightly in January and February.
Humidity: The average humidity in winter in Hangzhou is 75%. December is the driest month of the year.
Air quality in winter: The air quality in winter is not so good, with average AQI of 86. The worst month is December with average AQI 95. January and February come next with average AQI 86 and 78, respectively.
Clothing: Prepare sweaters and down jackets for winter.
It sometimes snows in winter. The snowy scenery on West Lake is beautiful.
Winter is low season in Hangzhou, so it is less crowded. It is a good time to visit if you prefer a quieter experience.
Hangzhou’s air quality is improving. The summer air quality is best among the four seasons. Spring and autumn come next. Winter is last. Sometimes there is smog in winter.
The air quality in nearby water towns is better than that of the city.
If you are sensitive to smog, tell your travel advisor or guide, and they will prepare a mask for you.
Our travel specialist will plan a tour according to your available time, to let you enjoy the main highlights of Hangzhou. Have a look at our popular Hangzhou tours for inspiration:
Our tours are customizable — tell us your interests and requirements and we will help you tailor-make a Hangzhou tour.