Hotan Climate & Monthly Temperature Overview – China


Hotan experiences scorching summers with intensely hot and dry conditions. Temperatures soar to extreme highs, often surpassing 40°C (104°F). The relentless heat is accompanied by low humidity levels, leading to a sweltering and uncomfortable climate. Precipitation is scarce during this period, with occasional thunderstorms providing brief respite from the oppressive heat.


In contrast to the scorching summers, Hotan’s winters are frigid and freezing. Temperatures plummet to below-freezing levels, reaching as low as -20°C (-4°F). The extreme cold is amplified by strong winds that often sweep through the region. Snowfall is common, further adding to the icy conditions. However, the cold weather is typically accompanied by clear skies, offering ample sunshine during the daytime.

Average Temperature in Hotan, China

Hotan, an ancient city located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, experiences extreme variations in temperature throughout the year. The city is known for its scorching summers and freezing winters, with an average annual temperature of 13.2°C (55.8°F).

During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures in Hotan soar to an average high of 35°C (95°F). The hottest month is July, with an average high of 39°C (102°F). These high temperatures are attributed to the city’s arid climate and its proximity to the Taklamakan Desert, one of the hottest deserts in the world. During the summer, the city experiences very little rainfall, resulting in a dry and scorching atmosphere.

Formation and Types

Clouds in Hotan, China are predominantly influenced by the region’s arid climate and proximity to the Tibetan Plateau. Precipitation is scarce, resulting in a cloud cover that is typically sparse. During the summer months, afternoon convection can lead to the formation of cumulus clouds, which are often isolated and do not produce significant rainfall. In contrast, during the winter, the cold and dry air masses limit cloud development, resulting in generally clear skies. However, when moist air from the south interacts with the cold air over Hotan, it can form stratus or altostratus clouds, which can lead to drizzle or light snowfall.

Impact on Climate and Environment

Clouds play a crucial role in regulating Hotan’s climate. The sparse cloud cover allows for high levels of solar radiation to reach the surface, contributing to the region’s hot and dry conditions. However, during the winter, the presence of stratus or altostratus clouds can provide some insulation, preventing temperatures from dropping as low as they would under clear skies. Clouds also influence the distribution of precipitation in Hotan. While rainfall is generally limited, the presence of clouds can increase the humidity and reduce evaporation, leading to a slight increase in precipitation during cloudy periods. Additionally, clouds can scatter sunlight, reducing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface. This has implications for human health, as well as for plant and animal life in the region.

Annual Precipitation

Hotan, China, located in the arid Taklamakan Desert, experiences extremely low annual precipitation. On average, the city receives less than 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain per year. The precipitation is highly variable, with most of it occurring during the summer months. The average temperature in Hotan ranges from -10°C (14°F) in January to 32°C (90°F) in July. The city’s average relative humidity is 40%, which contributes to its dry climate.

Seasonal Variations

Precipitation in Hotan is influenced by seasonal changes. During the summer months, the monsoon winds bring moisture from the Indian Ocean, resulting in occasional heavy rainfall. However, these rainfall events are sporadic and can lead to flash flooding. In the winter months, the city experiences very little precipitation, and temperatures can drop significantly. Snowfall is rare in Hotan due to its low elevation and dry climate. The lack of precipitation throughout the year has significant implications for the region’s agricultural and water resources, as well as its overall environmental conditions.

Location and Climate

Hotan is a city located in the southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The city has a desert climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, dry winters. Hotan experiences very little rainfall throughout the year, with an annual average of only about 50 mm.

Seasonal Rainfall Patterns

The limited rainfall in Hotan is primarily concentrated during the summer months, from June to August. During this period, the city may experience occasional thunderstorms, which can bring some relief from the heat and dryness. However, even during the summer, rainfall events are often sporadic and unpredictable. The remaining months of the year are typically very dry, with little to no precipitation.

Impact on Agriculture

Snowfall in Hotan, China, can have a significant impact on agriculture. Snowfall can provide much-needed moisture to the soil, which is essential for crop growth. However, excessive snowfall can also damage crops and make it difficult to harvest. Snowfall can also lead to the formation of ice, which can damage crops and make it difficult for farmers to access their fields.

Impact on Livestock

Snowfall in Hotan, China, can also have a significant impact on livestock. Snowfall can make it difficult for livestock to find food and water, which can lead to malnutrition and death. Snowfall can also lead to the formation of ice, which can make it difficult for livestock to move around and can also cause injuries. Farmers often have to provide additional food and shelter for their livestock during periods of snowfall.

Sun’s Position and Intensity in Hotan, China

Hotan is located in the northwestern region of China, known for its extreme aridity and high solar radiation. The sun’s position in Hotan is characterized by its high altitude and relatively low angle of incidence throughout the year. This unique geographical location results in long and intense periods of sunshine, particularly during the summer months. The average daily solar irradiation in Hotan ranges between 5 and 8 kilowatt-hours per square meter, making it one of the sunniest regions in the country.

Solar Energy Potential and Applications

The abundant sunshine in Hotan presents a significant opportunity for solar energy development. The region has witnessed the construction of large-scale photovoltaic power plants in recent years, harnessing the sun’s energy to generate clean and renewable electricity. These solar installations contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable energy practices in the area. Additionally, solar energy is being utilized for various applications in Hotan, including water heating, crop drying, and powering rural communities. The widespread adoption of solar technology has reduced reliance on conventional fossil fuels, fostering energy independence and environmental sustainability.

Moon Folklore

The Uyghur people of Hotan have a rich folklore surrounding the moon. They believe that the moon holds great power and influence over human affairs. The full moon is considered a time of heightened emotions and intuition, while the new moon is a time for reflection and planning. During the full moon, Uyghurs often gather together to sing, dance, and tell stories. They also believe that the moon can grant wishes and predict the future.

Moon Festivals

The Uyghur people celebrate several festivals that are associated with the moon. The most important of these festivals is Ramazan, which is the Muslim month of fasting. During Ramazan, Uyghurs fast from sunrise to sunset and spend their evenings in prayer and reflection. They also celebrateEid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramazan, with a feast and fireworks. Other moon-related festivals include the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Lunar New Year.

Seasonal Trends

Hotan, located in northwestern China, experiences significant seasonal variations in humidity levels. During the summer months, from June to August, the average relative humidity ranges from 40% to 55%. This period coincides with the warmest time of the year, when temperatures can soar above 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). The low humidity during this time can contribute to a dry and arid climate, with limited rainfall.

In contrast, the winter months in Hotan are characterized by much higher humidity levels. From December to February, the average relative humidity often exceeds 70%, reaching its peak in January. This time of year is marked by cold temperatures, often dropping below freezing, and frequent snowfall. The high humidity during this period can lead to fog and mist, creating a damp and chilly atmosphere.

Long-Term Trends

Over the past few decades, Hotan has experienced a gradual increase in average humidity levels. This trend is consistent with the overall global trend of rising humidity due to climate change. Factors contributing to this increase include rising temperatures, which enhance evaporation from water bodies and soil, as well as changing precipitation patterns. The increase in humidity has implications for the region, potentially affecting agricultural practices, human health, and infrastructure.

Seasonal Wind Patterns

Hotan, located in the Taklamakan Desert of western China, experiences distinct seasonal wind patterns. During the summer months, prevailing northwesterly winds dominate, bringing hot and dry air from the arid steppes of Central Asia. These winds can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour) and contribute to the region’s oppressive summer heat.

In contrast, during the winter months, southeasterly winds become more prevalent, bringing relatively cooler and moister air from the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau. These winds typically blow at a slower pace, around 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour), and help alleviate the extreme cold that can descend upon Hotan during the winter.

Influence on Climate and Environment

The varying wind patterns in Hotan have a significant influence on the local climate and environment. The hot and dry northwesterly winds during the summer contribute to the region’s aridity and extreme temperatures, with average summer temperatures reaching up to 40°C (104°F). The cooler and moister southeasterly winds during the winter provide some relief from the heat and dryness, but they can also bring snow and occasional precipitation to the region. These seasonal wind patterns play a crucial role in shaping the unique ecosystem of Hotan, which includes desert vegetation, oases, and wetlands.

Best Time to Visit

Hotan, located in the heart of the Taklamakan Desert, experiences extreme temperature variations throughout the year. The best time to visit Hotan is during the spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor exploration. During these seasons, the temperatures range from mild to warm, providing comfortable conditions for sightseeing and activities. The clear skies and sunny weather also make it an ideal time for photography and capturing the vibrant colors of the desert landscape.

Avoid Extreme Seasons

During the summer months (June-August), Hotan experiences scorching heat with temperatures soaring well above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The intense heat and frequent sandstorms can make exploring the area challenging and uncomfortable. Similarly, the winter months (November-March) bring freezing temperatures and occasional snow, making it less favorable for outdoor activities.

Solar Energy Potential

Hotan, situated in the arid Xinjiang Province of China, boasts exceptional solar energy potential. The region experiences over 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, one of the highest in the country. This abundance of sunlight provides an ideal setting for harnessing solar energy. Additionally, the vast open spaces and minimal cloud cover further enhance the potential for solar power generation.

Development and Applications

Over the years, Hotan has emerged as a significant hub for solar energy development. The region is home to several large-scale solar power plants, including the 100-megawatt Golmud Solar Park and the 50-megawatt Yuli Solar Farm. These projects contribute significantly to China’s renewable energy goals. Moreover, solar energy is also being used in various applications at the local level, such as powering streetlights, heating homes, and providing electricity to remote areas.

Topography in Hotan, China

Hotan, located in the southern region of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, exhibits a diverse topography shaped by geological processes and climatic conditions. The city is situated at the foot of the Kunlun Mountains, with the majestic Tianshan Mountains extending to the north and Karakoram Mountains towering to the west. These mountain ranges create a natural barrier that shields Hotan from cold and dry winds, resulting in a warm and arid climate. The terrain surrounding Hotan is characterized by vast deserts and oases, with the Taklamakan Desert stretching to the east and the smaller Kumtag Desert located to the northwest.

The Taklamakan Desert, one of the largest deserts in the world, covers a significant portion of the Hotan region. The desert is characterized by shifting sand dunes that create a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. The dunes range in height from a few meters to several hundred meters, and their shapes and patterns are constantly evolving due to the prevailing winds. Oases, areas of fertile land surrounded by the desert, are scattered throughout the region, providing water and vegetation to support human settlements and agriculture. The most notable oasis in Hotan is the Hotan Oasis, located along the Hotan River. This oasis is known for its lush vegetation, including fruit trees, cotton fields, and poplar forests.

Hotan Airport (HTN)

Hotan Airport (HTN) is the nearest airport to Hotan, China. It is an airport about 10 kilometers away from the city center. The airport has direct flights to several major cities in China, including Urumqi, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. It also has international flights to Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. Hotan airport is a modern airport with a wide range of facilities, including a duty-free shop, restaurants, and a business center. The airport is also well-connected to the city center by public transportation.

Karakul Airport (KRL)

Another airport that serves Hotan is Karakul Airport (KRL). It is located about 180 kilometers away from Hotan city center. Karakul Airport is a smaller airport than HTN, with a limited number of flights. However, it does have direct flights to Urumqi and Kashgar. The airport is located in the town of Karakul, which is a popular tourist destination for its beautiful scenery.

History and Culture

Hotan, a city located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, holds a rich history and vibrant culture. Once a crucial stop on the ancient Silk Road, Hotan has played a significant role in trade and cultural exchange between East and West. The city’s cultural heritage is predominantly influenced by Uyghur and Islamic traditions, with a blend of Persian and Turkic elements. Hotan is renowned for its exquisite jade, which has been crafted into intricate jewelry, ornaments, and artwork for centuries. The city is also home to numerous historical sites, including the Emin Minaret, an 18th-century Islamic tower, and the ancient Buddhist ruins of Karahoja.

Natural Beauty and Resources

Hotan’s natural beauty is equally captivating. The city is surrounded by the vast Taklamakan Desert, one of the driest and hottest deserts in the world. The stark and beautiful landscape offers opportunities for desert exploration and adventure activities. Hotan is also known for its abundant natural resources, including jade, oil, and natural gas. The city’s economy revolves largely around agriculture, with farming and livestock herding playing vital roles. Cotton, wheat, and other crops thrive in the fertile oasis surrounding Hotan, while the desert grasslands provide grazing lands for livestock. Visitors to Hotan can immerse themselves in the city’s natural wonders and witness the unique ecosystem that has shaped its history and culture.