Weather in Asia

Because of its immense size, the climate in Asia varied widely from country to country. Much of the interior mainland, including large parts of China, India and Pakistan, consists of desert with little rainfall and extreme temperature changes between day and night. Winters (November to March) can be bitterly cold, while summers (July and August) are short and hot. Temperatures in the Gobi desert are extreme, ranging from -40°F (-40°C) on winter nights to a high of 100°F (38°C) in summer.

The climate of Southeast Asia is tropical, and temperatures remain fairly stable throughout the year, hovering within a few degrees of 86°F (30°C). In the equatorial islands, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, summer is hot and wet. The best time to visit Southeast Asia is between November and February, which is relatively cooler and drier in much of the region.

The weather in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar (known as Indochina) differs slightly, with a cool and dry season from November to February followed by a hot summer from April to July when temperatures can reach 104°F (40°C), and a rainy season beginning in late July. However, even the rainy season in Thailand and other countries generally includes sunny mornings with short downpours in the afternoon.

There are several different monsoon seasons in Asia. The South Asian Monsoons in India and Central Asia occur from June to September; while the East Asian Monsoon passes through Southern China, Taiwan and Indochina in May, Japan in June, and North China and Korea in July. Tropical cyclones, while occurring year-round, are most prevalent in the Philippines from July through October.

For detailed information on weather in Asia see our comprehensive month-by-month guides below.