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Pollution in Beijing

Old Jan 27th, 2011, 10:44 PM
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Pollution in Beijing

We've just seen a good deal for Beijing towards the end of March. We guess that it will feel rather cold to Australians coming our of summer and we've heard rumours of strong winds, we've also heard about high pollution levels but would have thought strong winds would have got rid of that. Can anyone give us an idea of what it is really like then, the usual weather sites give such a big range it is hard to know.
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 11:30 PM
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I don’t travel to Beijing that often, but when I do, I will say that the pollution is quite bad. And I say this as someone who lives in Hong Kong where on many days you cannot see across the harbour. I find in Beijing that the pollution is worse and is grittier. I don’t think it changes much during the year. The entire sky is a white-gray haze, and you are not be able to see tall buildings in the far to middle distance, or in many cases quite a short distance. As you have learned, in March the strong winds do tend to blow, and while it does blow some pollution away, it brings with it tons of sand from the Gobi desert. So you trade a bit less air pollution for air that is just about the same in terms of visibility, and can give the sky a yellow cast. Sort of a trade-off. It was a dry summer in north China and has been a cold dry winter as well so far, so it is possible that the desert sands brought to Beijing by the spring wind will be pretty heavy in March.

All that being said, as a tourist for a few days I am sure you will be fine, unless you have a condition like asthma. And who knows, you may luck out and get really clear days. But in Beijing, the only place visibility really matters, IMO is when you go to the Great Wall and want to admire countryside views. But that is a matter of luck on the day you go, whatever time of year it may be. Otherwise, while it is depressing to see all the pollution, it does not affect sightseeing, IMO. The plus side to March and early April is that there will be far fewer tourists than in the summer and early fall.

In terms of temps, in my experience March is changeable, like spring months in northern climates generally. You can have a hot day and then a cool to cold day the next. I think you would find temps on average to be in the 10-15 range. Bring layers to add or take off as necessary. Snow and very cold temps would be unlikely, as would temps in excess of 25 F or so. I believe rain is quite rare in March and April.
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Old Jan 27th, 2011, 11:32 PM
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So that should be 25 C, and the other temp estimates are in Celsius as well.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 03:39 AM
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25C in March ???

I was in Beijing in March, 2010, and it wasn't up there at all. Still needed warm jacket, gloves and scarves.

I was in Beijing two weeks ago as well, and it was much colder then. In the region of Minus 10C or so.

Beijing..Lovely city, if it wasnt for the pollution, traffic and over abundance of security at Forbidden City and Tianenmen Square. Two trips in 12 months and that's it for me.
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 04:18 AM
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www.worldclimateguide.co.uk/climateguides/asia

Highs of about 10 degrees C at that time pretty cool

but nice pollution usually decreases with fronts

that come through but still haze fumes can be an issues.

Warms up a lot in late May go then to be warmer.

Happy Journey,
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Old Jan 28th, 2011, 04:59 AM
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The strong wind at that time of the year blows lots of the dust/earth particles from the Gobi Desert and Loess Plateau in the west to Beijing. It can be horrendous. Not local pollution.
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