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Home » Silk Road Travel Guide » Silk Road Climate » Climate & Weather in Turpan

Climate & Weather in Turpan

Turpan is located about 150 km (93 mi) southeast of Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, in a mountain basin, on the northern side of the Turpan Depression, at an elevation of 30 m (98 ft) above sea level. Outside of Turpan is a small volcanic cone, the Turfan volcano, that is said to have erupted in 1120 as described in the Song Dynasty.

Turpan has a harsh, drastic, cold desert climate, with long and very hot summers, winters that are quite cold but short, and brief spring and autumn in between. Annual precipitation is very low, amounting to only 15.7 millimetres (0.62 in). The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from -7.6 °C (18.3 °F) in January to 32.2 °C (90.0 °F) in July; the annual mean is 14.4 °C (57.9 °F).

Extremes have ranged from -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to 48.1 °C (119 °F), although a reading of 49.6 °C (121 °F) in July 1975 is regarded as dubious.
However, the very heat and dryness of the summer, when combined with the area's ancient system of irrigation, allows the countryside around Turpan to produce great quantities of high-quality fruit.