Temperatures in Xinjiang change drastically from season to season, area to area, and even day to night. In summer, the air is warm, and there is little need for heavy clothing even in some of the highest and most remote locations. The air at this height is thin, which allows more of the sun’s UV rays to penetrate to the ground level, making the sun feel hotter and stronger than at sea level areas of the same temperatures. Overall, the seasonal variations in temperature is huge, ranging from 40 degrees in the summer to -30 degrees in the winter in some areas. And while altitude and the wind has the most considerable effect on the temperatures, a big difference in temperatures occurs between night and day. While it can be around 22 degrees during the day, it can often drop to below freezing at night, making it a very big drop in temperatures.
Xinjiang enjoys a continental climate, with very hot summer and extremely cold winter. But the temperature of Xinjiang in different seasons is not only decided by the season as the altitude of Xinjinag varies greatly from basin to high mountains. The wind at Muztaghata and kanas can be very cold. Some parts’ nighttime temperatures will invariably be below zero centigrade. And it can be higher than 40 Celsius degrees in Turpan. Besides, there is also a great difference of temperature between day and night in Xinjiang. For example, in Urumqi although the temperatures are mostly moderate during the day it can be very cold at night, requiring several layers or much better, a light down jacket to walk around. Therefore, you might have an extreme range of climates and you should be prepared for all sorts of conditions on clothing.
Even in Summer, it is advisable to take down jackets with you. With a huge range in elevations, you will experience all sorts of temperatures and quite possibly all sorts of weather. It might be sunny or snowy. Sometimes you will encounter the hail. I remember that it snowed in Heavenly lake in June ,2017. Though it doesn’t rain often in Xinjiang and usually it doesn’t rain hard, normally only light drizzle, but it is not fine all the time. It can be extremely windy and cold on top of the high passes. So travelling in good vehicles that have heaters is the best choice even in Summer. In winter of Xinjiang, although it is mostly fine and sunny, the day time temperatures rarely make it above zero centigrade in kashgar,it is worm in the middle of the day, but in the morning and evening are cold.
Generally speaking, from April to October, the temperature of Xinjiang is relatively high.But no matter when you make a trip warm clothes are helpful and necessary if you plan to visit places in Northen part of Xinjiang.
Turpan prefecture has a special landform, and this small basin is a huge attraction to tourists from all over the world. Spring season starts in March, and the region is beautiful as the weather starts to warm up and the sun shines brightly. It can be windy too, which can affect the temperatures. Spring temperatures range from 15 degrees in March to around 30 degrees in April, and it is rare to see the temperatures drop below freezing until December, till start of winter.
In summer, it is the hottest place in Xinjiang, even in the whole country. The temperatures can reach as high as 45 degrees, and autumn comes to 25-30 degrees. Winter can be very cold though, and temperatures drop considerably, with the coldest month being January, with average temperatures of 6 degrees, but falling to as low as -5 at night. Turpan is really an all-year location, a wonderful place to travel, and the milder winters allow for great tourist opportunities, while not requiring more than a good warm jacket and hat during the day. And the sights of Flaming mountain and the surrounding monasteries and temples are an amazing sight in at any time of year.
Heavenly Lake(Tianchi) area has an average elevation of around 2500 meters, and the weather is adverse with very high temperature differentials between night and day. Spring does not come to the region until May, when temperatures start to climb and can reach as much as 13 degrees. July is the hottest month of summer, and the temperature goes up to around 25 degrees, as the land comes alive with the small amount of rain and the wildlife becomes active. As autumn comes in the temperature has already dropped dramatically, and highs of just 9 degrees are normal.
However, winter is the harshest of all here, with temperatures below freezing even in the daytime, and nights getting down to around -30 degrees. Whether day or night, the spring and autumn seasons require warmer clothing as it is still very cold, and the biting winds make it feel colder. However, it is still worth a visit as the area is the locations of our mother Mountain, Mt. Tianshan.
Nanshan has a similar climate to that of Urumqi, although it does have its own unique weather patterns. The area experiences fairly moderate temperatures over the course of the year, and the spring can be rainy as well. Temperatures in spring vary at around 6-7 degrees, while summer only gets up to around 20 degrees, although it has been recorded to have reached an all-time high of 28 degrees in the past. The western areas of Nanshan are higher up into the mountains than the eastern areas, and heavy snowfall occurs in winter, with low temperatures reaching around -25 degrees at night. In summer time, this is good grassland for riding horses, in winter, it is an ideal place for skating and skiing.
Temperature in kashgar is similar to Hotan and other south Xinjiang area, since these cities all located in southern part of Xinjiang, and they are near Taklamakan desert (which is the largest desert in China.) It is nice and warm with pleasant weather in kashgar, it is not very cold in winter and not very hot in summer. It is all year-round tourism place. It was very famous city along the Silk Road.
A region in Xinjiang’s southwest part with a very low population, Pamir’s climate is comparatively very cold and windy, the temperature differences are large. While the rest of Xinjiang has distinct seasons, as it is overall dry and cold almost all year round. The hottest time of the year is in June, when temperatures can reach as much as 20 degrees. By the end of October the temperatures have dropped to around 3 degrees, and minus 10 is normal at night.
Winter here is harsh, and the temperature drops to below freezing during the daytime. Snow is common throughout the winter, and severe snowstorms can often be seen. Spring does not arrive in Pamir until May, when the snow starts to melt, and the famous lake Karakul become beautiful. From the amazing lakes to the Muztaghata mountain and massive expanse of grasslands, pamir can be a great place for nature lovers and photographers.
This is a small paragraph of Xinjiang’s climatic condition and according to it you can select your favorite season to travel in Xinjiang. Below is a chart of Xinjiang’s temperature in a year, including Urumqi, Turpan, Kashgar, Altay and Karamay. From the chart, we could conclude that April to November are pleasant months to visit Xinjiang while it is neither too hot or too cold.