Three Parallel Rivers Climate

Climate in Three Parallel Rivers

The Three Parallel Rivers are the three rivers that originate from the Nujiang River (upstream of the Salween River), the Lancang River (upstream of the Mekong River) and the Jinsha River (upstream of the Yangtze River) in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. They pass through the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Lijiang and the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province, China. So the climate in Three Parallel Rivers is mainly divided into three sections, namely, climate in Lijiang, climate in Nujiang and climate in Diqing.

1. Climate in Lijiang

With an altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level, Lijiang enjoys a highland climate with distinct dry and rainy seasons. The average annual temperature is 12.6ºC without drastic changes. It has three different climatic zones, ranging from subtropical in the southeast, warm temperatures in the center, and cold temperatures in the northwest. What's more, vertical climate in some highlands can also be seen in Lijiang. Without too much change from spring to winter, the weather of Lijiang allows visitors to get there at any time. However, Lijiang's rainy season begins in May and ends in October, with the heaviest and most recurrent rainfall periods occurring during July and August, meaning that this is hardly the ideal time of year to visit the Lijiang area. Like all highland areas that are bordered by mountains, the weather in Lijiang can change several times in one day. Hence the popular saying: You may experience all four seasons within the span of one day!" So layered clothing, at least the use of warm outer clothing in the mornings and evenings, is necessary.

2. Climate in Nujiang

Nujiang, lying in the longitudinal valley area of Hengduan Mountains in western Yunnan, enjoys a plateau monsoon climate at low latitude. Nujiang features clear dry and wet seasons, great temperature difference between day and night and small temperature difference during the whole year. The average temperature is 16.8℃-20.1℃. Due to the landform and latitude, it is colder in its northern part, warmer in the middle and hot in the south; it is cold in the high mountain area, warm in halfway up the mountain and hot along the Nujiang River. The best time to visit Nujiang is September after the rainy season.

3. Climate in Diqing

Enjoying a typical plateau climate, it may snow in October, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous prefecture is encompassed by the Hengduan Mountains, and the terrain varies greatly, so the temperature difference of a day is great, too. Sometimes visitors can even experience all the four seasons in a day. July to September is the rainy season. 

Best Time to Visit Three Paralle Rivers

The Three Parallel Rivers spans a wide range and the climate is naturally diverse. The best time to visit the Three Parallel Rivers is all year round, and you can see different scenery every season.