Weather and Air Quality
Beijing climate ranges from 40 degrees Celsius in the summer to weeks of snow in the winter. The best weather is in September and October, called the Golden Season.
There is a legitimate concern for air quality in Beijing, similar to many other large cities in the world.
Cars and coal are the biggest culprits with over 3.5 million private cars on the road and over 70% of the city’s electricity is produced with coal. The surrounding mountains have a bowl effect that keeps bad air lingering over the city if there are no easterly winds. The air quality in Beijing has improved a lot in recently years days since the government has imposed strict regulations and forsees that it will ontinue to improve year on year.
Pollution days are more difficult to predict than the weather, with most expatriates checking the Air Quality Index (AQI) from a website or an App on their smart phones. The important thing to remember is that the AQI varies drastically from one day being completely different from another. On bad air days, try to stay indoors and avoid high impact exercise outside. Most expats buy air purifiers for their homes.
The British School of Beijing, Shunyi have a whole school air purification system for our campus, several indoor athletic and play spaces, as well as a rigourous AQI policy with activity levels based on the AQI to keep our children safe while still providing the need for exercise.