The geography of Shanghai is characterised by its location on the Yangtze River Delta on China’s east coast and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean via the East China Sea. The city is centred around the Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, and extends outwards in all directions, with the suburbs and satellite towns reaching east to the East China Sea, north and west to Jiangsu province, and south to Zhejiang province over Hangzhou Bay.
The vast majority of Shanghai’s land area is flat, apart from a few hills in the southwest corner, due to its location on the alluvial plain of the Yangtze’s river delta. The city has many rivers and lakes and is known for its rich water resources, and thanks to its coastal, riverside location and warm climate ensuring ice-free waters, provides easy access to China’s interior, resulting in Shanghai being the world’s largest port.
Shanghai is located in the middle of China’s east coast, on the Yangtze River Delta. It is bordered by the Yangtze River to the north, the East China Sea to the east, Hangzhou Bay to the south, and Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces to the west. The city is roughly equidistant to Beijing and Hong Kong, and is located at 31°12′N 121°30′E / 31.2°N 121.5°E / 31.2; 121.5, roughly the same latitude as San Diego, New Orleans, Bermuda, Marrakech, and Cairo.
- Total: 6,340.5 km2 (2,448.1 sq mi)
- Land: 6,218.65 km2 (2,401.03 sq mi)
- Water: 121.85 km2 (47.05 sq mi)
Shanghai contains 53.1 km (33.0 mi) of rivers and streams and is part of the Lake Taihu drainage area. Suzhou Creek is 125 km (78 mi) long and has an average width of 70 to 80 meters, while the Huangpu River is 80 km (50 mi) long and is around 400 meters wide.
There are three larger low-altitude alluvial islands in the mouth of Yangtze. Chongming Island in the middle of the Yangtze is an alluvial island formed by silt carried along the river. It gives the name to the Chongming County, the only county of Shanghai. It is the third largest island in China at 1,041.21 km2 (402.01 sq mi). The other two are Changxing Island at 88.54 km2 (34.19 sq mi), and Hengsha Island at 55.74 km2 (21.52 sq mi).
Shanghai has also number of smaller islands under its jurisdiction.
The Jiuduansha Island (31º03′N~-31º17′N; 121º46′E-122º15′E, area: 423.2 km2 above -6 m, 114.6 km2 at the elevation of the sea level) has the national nature reserve, Jiuduansha Wetland.
Dajinshan Island (Big Jinshan Island), Xiaojinshan Island (Small Jinshan Island), and Fushan Island in Jinshan District. are nature reserves under city jurisdiction.
Some alluvial islands are relatively young. For example, Jiuduansha emerged in 1950s. In 2006, the city had 19 uninhabited islands covering 226.27 square kilometers, with a total coastline length of 309 kilometers. Dajinshan has the highest point of Shanghai with altitude of 103.4 m.
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa) and experiences four distinct seasons. In winter, cold northerly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, and although not usually associated with snow, the city can receive one or two days of snowfall per year. In contrast, and in spite of being the peak tourist season, summer in Shanghai is very warm and humid, with occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms. The city is also susceptible to typhoons, none of which in recent years has caused considerable damage. The most pleasant seasons are Spring, although changeable, and Autumn, which is generally sunny and dry.
Climate statistics of 2006:
- Average annual temperature: 18.4 °C (65.1 °F)
- Highest recorded air temperature: 38.6 °C (101.5 °F)
- Lowest recorded air temperature: −3.5 °C (25.7 °F)
- Annual hours of sunshine: 1,638.2
- Annual days of sunshine: 73
- Evaporation: 862.1 mm (33.9 in)
- Precipitation: 1,042.6 mm (41.0 in)
- Annual rainy days: 129
- Frost-free period: 333 days
|Average high °C (°F)||8.1
|Average low °C (°F)||1.1
|Precipitation mm (inches)||50.6
|Avg. precipitation days||9.7||10.3||13.9||12.7||12.1||14.4||12.0||11.3||11.0||8.1||7.0||6.5||129|
Shanghai city proper is bisected by the Huangpu River so can be split into two sides: Puxi, on the west side, is the historic centre of the city, and is a term used to describe together the districts of Yangpu, Hongkou, Zhabei, Putuo, Changning, Xuhui, Jing’an, Luwan and Huangpu. Pudong is located on the east side and is the location of Shanghai’s rapid development, including its new famous skyline and the Lujiazui financial district.
The outer districts, or suburbs, surround the city proper, and are Baoshan, Minhang, Jiading, Jinshan, Songjiang, Qingpu, Nanhui, Fengxian, and the rural eastern part of Pudong.
Shanghai’s only county – Chongming – is in the far north of the municipality and makes up the islands of Chongming, Changxing and Hengxia.
Public awareness of the environment is growing, and the city is investing in a number of environmental protection projects. A 10-year, US$1 billion cleanup of Suzhou Creek, which runs through the city center, is expected to be finished in 2008,and the government also provides incentives for transportation companies to invest in LPG buses and taxis. Air pollution in Shanghai is low compared to other Chinese cities such as Beijing, but the rapid development over the past decades means it is still high on worldwide standards, comparable to Los Angeles.
Shanghai Climate – Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Shanghai are in spring or autumn. The city has a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. Generally, the warm spring and cool autumn are the more comfortable seasons. While summer and winter are far less pleasant. Overall, Shanghai weather is mild and moist.
The highest temperature of Shanghai occurs in July or August. For ten days or so in these two months, the temperature can reach 35 degrees centigrade. The coldest period is from the end of January to early February – usually during the Chinese Spring Festival. This awfully cold period will last for about three days but it seldom snows, in fact there has been none for years. From March to May, the weather in Shanghai is generally pleasant so this is the best season for traveling.
One thing to mention is what is called the Mei-Yu Season which in English is the ‘Plum Rain Season’. This lasts for about a month commencing in early summer when the plums ripen along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. During this period from mid-June to early July it is difficult to tell whether it will be wet or dry and the rainfall will often equal twenty-five per cent of the city’s annual total! From late August and through the first twenty days of September, typhoons can bring heavy rain in their wake. These periods are best avoided by the traveler but should you decide to visit be sure to bring an umbrella. Of course, the umbrella can also be used as a protection from the strong ultraviolet radiation on the sunny days. Generally you will need a light coat and sweater in spring and long and short sleeved shirts in summer. In autumn, long-sleeved shirts, sweater and coat are necessary, while sweater and overcoat are appropriate in winter.
Sunrise in Shanghai’s winter is 6:49 and sunset 16:57
In summer sunrise at 4:50, sunset at 19:01
Detailed Shanghai weather information about the Average, Maximun and Minimum Temperatures and the rainfall.
|Average High (F)||45/48||46/50||54/58||65/68||74/78||80/84|
|Average High (C)||7/9||8/10||12/14||18/20||23/25||27/29|
|Average Low (F)||31/34||33/36||39/43||49/52||58/62||66/70|
|Average Low (C)||-1/1||0/2||4/6||9/11||14/16||19/21|
|Average High (F)||88/92||88/92||81/84||72/76||61/65||50/54|
|Average High (C)||31/33||31/33||27/29||22/24||16/18||10/12|
|Average Low (F)||74/78||74/78||67/70||56/60||46/49||35/39|
|Average Low (C)||23/25||23/25||19/21||13/15||8/10||2/4|
Shanghai, located on the 31st parallel north, has a climate comparable to that of the southeastern coast of the United States, except that Shanghai’s summer is hotter. Spring, from mid-March to mid-May, is mild but rainy. Summer, from mid-May to mid-September, is oppressively hot and humid. Winter, from mid-November to mid-March, is damp and chilly, but there is seldom snow and the daytime temperatures are usually above freezing. Autumn (Sept-Oct) is the most comfortable season, being neither too hot nor too rainy, but typhoon-propelled rains can strike in September.
- Weather: Shanghai’s climate is Central China climate. Winters in central China feel colder than they look on the thermometer. The moisture in the air makes you feel the cold right to the bone. However, you will seldom see snow and temperatures may never reach freezing. Happily, winters are short, starting in January in earnest and usually finishing up by the end of March. Summers are long, hot and humid, lasting from April through September/October. It can rain at all times of the year but mid-summer (July) and autumn (late September through early November) are the driest.
- Recommended time for visit : 4-5 days.
- Best time of year to visit : Autumn is probably your best bet in Shanghai. Spring can be difficult with an occasional long winter or early wet season, although mid-April through mid-May are usually very nice. It is not yet terribly hot, flowers are blooming and the trees are starting to leaf out, so there’s an air of freshness. However, autumn usually sees clearer skies, still-warm temperatures without the overbearing humidity. And, you’re less likely to get rained on.
- Bring rain gear, you will probably see at least one wet day in Shanghai.
- If you’re a history buff, find accommodation in the French Concession area. You’ll really enjoy taking some walks and seeing the old lane houses and villas that still stand in the area.
China is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and the United States. It is located in Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. Land area: 9,326,410 sq. km.
Shanghai , called “Hu” for short, is a bustling metropolis with a total area of 6,341 square kilometers (about 2,448 square miles).
Shanghai is situated at 31’14′ north latitude and 121’29′ east longitude in central-eastern China, along China’s coastal line, facing the East China Sea at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Connected with Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in the west, the city is bordered by the East China Sea in the east and Hangzhou Bay on the south. North of the city, the Yangtze River flows into the East China Sea. The name Shanghai means ‘on the sea’.
Thanks to its advantageous geographic location, Shanghai has become an excellent river and sea port, boasting easy access to the vast interior of China. It is now one of the major port cities of the world.
On the outside, Shanghai may be one of the most futuristic looking cities in the world. It stands as the proud symbol of China’s rise to economic powerhouse status. Shanghai is an independent City administered directly by the central government.
Shanghai, has one of the largest urban populations on Earth. The official population is around 17 million making it the largest city in China. However with the ever increasing migration of migrant workers into the city some estimates post the ‘real’ population at over 20 million people.
Except for a few hills lying in the southwest corner, most parts of the Shanghai area are flat and belong to the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River Delta. The average sea level elevation is about four meters. Dotted with many rivers and lakes, the Shanghai area is known for its rich water resources. Most of the rivers are tributaries of the Huangpu River . Originated from the Taihu Lake , the 113-kilometre-long Huangpu River winds through the downtown area of the city. The river is about 300 to 770 meters wide with an average width standing at 360 meters. The ice-free Huangpu River is the main waterway in the Shanghai area.
Shanghai enjoys generous sunshine, abundant rainfall and four distinct seasons , with freezing temperatures during the winter season and a 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) average high during the hottest months of July and August.
Occasionally, the summer temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahreheit). Winter is typically grey, and summers can be quite humid.
Spring and Autumn in Shanghai are cool and crisp, and generally agreed as the best time to be in Shanghai, but are relatively short compared with summer and winter.
Winter begins in mid December and ends around early March.
The city has a frost-free period lasting up to 230 days a year, and receives and average annual rainfall of 1,200 millimeters. However, nearly 60% of the precipitation comes during the May-September rain season, which is divided into three rainy periods, namely, the Spring Rains, the Plum Rains and the autumn Rains.
- Spring March to May – A period of warm weather, blue skies and sunny days before the rainy season.
- Rainy Season June to August.
- Summer June to September – Hot and humid days and nights.
- Autumn October to November – Very comfortable, mild weather, dry and sunny.
- Winter December to February – Long days of grey skies, rain and cold.
Average Monthly Temperature and rainfall in Shanghai, China
|Average Temperature||Average Rainfall|
|Jan||3.3 C||37.5 F||254 mm||10.0 In.|
|Feb||4.3 C||39.7 F||254 mm||10.0 In.|
|Mar||8.2 C||46.9 F||330 mm||12.9 In.|
|Apr||18.8 C||56.8 F||330 mm||12.9 In.|
|May||18.9 C||66.0 F||305 mm||12.0 In.|
|Jun||23.2 C||73.8 F||356 mm||14.0 In.|
|Jul||27.4 C||81.3 F||279 mm||11.0 In.|
|Aug||27.5 C||81.4 F||279 mm||11.0 In.|
|Sep||23.2 C||73.8 F||305 mm||12.0 In|
|Oct||17.7 C||63.9 F||254 mm||10.0 In.|
|Nov||11.7 C||53.1 F||203 mm||7.9 In.|
|Dec||5.9 C||42.6 F||178 mm||7.0 In.|
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