Guangzhou Geography and Climate

Situated at the south-central section of the southern province of Guangdong, Guangzhou forms part of the megacity around the Pearl River Delta, the world’s second largest. Hong Kong is 125 kilometers to the southeast while Macau lies 120 kilometers to the southwest. The city’s total area is about 7,400 square kilometers, with its 10 districts taking up more than half of the total area. Baiyun Mountains, 15 kilometers north of downtown Guangzhou is considered by the locals as the “lung of the city”, and true enough it absorbs the city’s carbon emissions a great deal.

To the immediate south of the Tropic of Cancer, 23° 7′ N latitude and 113° 15′ E longitude, Guangzhou is located in a subtropical monsoon climate zone. There is no stark difference in the climate whole year round, and the temperature is generally uniform, thus it is difficult to differentiate the four seasons. Winters are warm with mean temperatures between 14°C-20°C (57°F-68°F), January being the coolest when temperatures could go as low as 5° C (41°F); while summers are hot and humid with average temperatures between 22°C-29°C (72°F-84°F), July being the hottest when the mercury could shoot up to 39°C (102°F).

Guangzhou has a long summer spanning from May until September, interspersed with rainy days brought by the monsoon. At this period storms and typhoons occasionally visit the city so you better bring an umbrella with you. Trousers and shirts are okay, and you may also pack your coat. Just bear in mind that although it rains, the mercury is still up, so do not bring thick coats with you.

Autumn and winter are the perfect time to visit the city, as the hot and humid conditions have eased out, and the rains have disappeared. This is a period great for walking around and shopping, and while the rest of China up north is chilling below freezing point, you can have a nice stroll in the gardens at the peripheries of Guangzhou. If you are a flower lover, then this part of the year will be perfect as the whole city is blanketed with flowers, especially when the kapok, Guangzhou’s official flower, comes in full bloom with its red blossoms.

Guangzhou Climate Facts:

  • Spring
March to May (wet, cool to warm)
  • Summer
May to September (wet, hot and humid)
  • Autumn
September to December (cool and sunny)
  • Winter
December to March (cool to chilly, dry)
  • Average whole year temperature
22.6ºC (72.7ºF)
  • Average high temperature
32.7 ºC (90.9 ºF) in August
  • Average low temperature
10.3ºC (50.5 ºF) in January
  • Average annual rainfall
1736mm (68.35in)
  • Driest months
November and December
  • Wettest months
May and Jun
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