Weather

Post Trip Note:

We found this analysis accurate and useful; it served us well on our trip.

Trans-Asia 2009 Plan

Temperature

(all table columns: Max, Avg, Min … unless otherwise noted) :

January: Bangkok, Thailand

Max Temperature
95 °F / 35 °C 90 °F / 32 °C 80 °F / 26 °C
Mean Temperature
86 °F / 30 °C 82 °F / 27 °C 72 °F / 22 °C
Min Temperature
78 °F / 25 °C 74 °F / 22 °C 64 °F / 17 °C

February: Simao, Yunnan, China

Max Temperature
78 °F / 25 °C 68 °F / 20 °C 51 °F / 10 °C
Mean Temperature
66 °F / 18 °C 60 °F / 15 °C 51 °F / 10 °C
Min Temperature
56 °F / 13 °C 50 °F / 10 °C 42 °F / 5 °C

March: Kangding, Sichuan, China (in the mountains)

Max Temperature
65 °F / 18 °C 49 °F / 9 °C 38 °F / 4 °C
Mean Temperature
52 °F / 11 °C 41 °F / 5 °C 34 °F / 2 °C
Min Temperature
43 °F / 6 °C 34 °F / 1 °C 26 °F / -3 °C

April: Zhangye, Gansu, China

Max Temperature
75 °F / 24 °C 60 °F / 15 °C 42 °F / 5 °C
Mean Temperature
60 °F / 16 °C 51 °F / 10 °C 36 °F / 2 °C
Min Temperature
53 °F / 12 °C 41 °F / 5 °C 28 °F / -2 °C

May: Urumqi, Xinjiang, China

Max Temperature
87 °F / 30 °C 74 °F / 23 °C 50 °F / 10 °C
Mean Temperature
76 °F / 24 °C 65 °F / 18 °C 47 °F / 8 °C
Min Temperature
68 °F / 20 °C 56 °F / 13 °C 41 °F / 5 °C

June: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Max Temperature
96 °F / 35 °C 84 °F / 28 °C 73 °F / 22 °C
Mean Temperature
78 °F / 25 °C 70 °F / 21 °C 62 °F / 16 °C
Min Temperature
64 °F / 17 °C 57 °F / 13 °C 50 °F / 10 °C

July: Tashkent, Uzbekistan (on the plains, but most of the month in the mountains)

Max Temperature
107 °F / 41 °C 97 °F / 36 °C 82 °F / 27 °C
Mean Temperature
91 °F / 32 °C 84 °F / 28 °C 71 °F / 21 °C
Min Temperature
77 °F / 25 °C 70 °F / 21 °C 60 °F / 15 °C

August: Tbilisi, Georgia

Max Temperature
77 °F / 25 °C 77 °F / 25 °C 77 °F / 25 °C
Mean Temperature
Min Temperature
77 °F / 25 °C 77 °F / 25 °C 77 °F / 25 °C

September: Ankara, Turkey

Actual Average Maximum
Mean Temperature
60 °F / 16 °C
Max Temperature
70 °F / 21 °C 79 °F / 26 °C 93 °F / 33 °C
Min Temperature
51 °F / 11 °C 51 °F / 10 °C 39 °F / 3 °C

Compared with hottest place we have cycled:

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Max Temperature
86 °F / 30 °C 83 °F / 28 °C 78 °F / 25 °C
Mean Temperature
78 °F / 25 °C 75 °F / 23 °C 69 °F / 20 °C
Min Temperature
71 °F / 21 °C 67 °F / 19 °C 57 °F / 13 °C

Conclusion:

In Southern China in February/March, we’ll need down sleeping bags good to minus5°C, and may need to buy down vests or an equivalent extra warm layer, as available locally. We can give away surplus warm layers as we get into warmer areas and as seasons progress.
We’ll need to stay off the plains and in the mountains as we move into the summer months in the Stans. We need to have reached Azerbaijan and Georgia by July, and if we aren’t getting there in time, we need to make a hop by train, bus, or plane. If we don’t, we will fry to a crisp and perish in the desert.

Wind

We suffered from headwinds near Havana, Cuba during January when, as you can see below, winds generally peak at about 20 kmh daily. We rode into these for a few days, but would prefer not to do this again.

January Cuba

Bangkok, Thailand-January

Winds Ne or NW 5 Kmh Steady

Jing Hong, China- February

Strong wind from south 8 kmh
Normal wind 3 kmh

Chengdu, China– March

Average wind variable direction 7 Kmh
Strong winds variable direction 21 kmh

Lanzhou, China- April

Wind from North if Strong 40KM/h
Average 9 km/h

Hami, China– May

Average Wind 7kmh
From NE if strong (22KMh)

Kuga, China– June

Wind Average 9kmh
When Strong from NE/NW 22 kmh

Conclusion:

We may have strong headwinds, but these are only likely to stay for a few days. Headwinds are unlikely to be a sustained weather pattern. Hopefully we get tailwinds in Western China!

Rain

Place

Rain cm

Month

Bangkok, Thailand
0
January
Simao, Yunnan
2.3
February
Kangding, Sichuan
4.5
March
Zhangye, Gansu
0.1
April
Urumqi, UQ, China
0
May
Almaty, Kazakhstan
0
June
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
0.3
July
Tbilisi, Georgia
0
August
Ankara, Turkey
4.2
September

Total for Asia

11.4

9 months

Compare this to:

Vancouver, Canada
11.4
March only!

Conclusion:

The total rainfall for nine months on our proposed Asia route is the same as for the rainfall for only the month of March in Vancouver. Although we need to bring rain gear, the requirement for such will be quite different than for rain gear used on the West Coast. It is likely to be carried more often than worn, and when worn may serve more for warmth and wind protection than for rain protection. The main requirement is that it be lightweight and packable.

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