Climate of Mongolia

Climate of Mongolia

Where is the country of Mongolia located? Mongolia, a nation bordered by China and Russia is a country located in North Asia. Of all the countries in Asia, Mongolia has one of the most extreme climates. The whole through China and Russia enclosed land has to do with three determining factors for the weather and climate. First of all, Mongolia consists largely of a plateau, which is largely between one thousand and two thousand meters above sea level. Second, there is the permafrost, a subsurface that never completely thaws. Third, every winter there is a very strong high pressure area over Mongolia, which determines the weather in almost all of Asia. It ensures mainly dry and sunny weather in southern Asia and fairly sunny and dry weather with low to very low temperatures in Mongolia itself. The winter months in Mongolia are among the coldest in the world. In Siberia, located north of Mongolia, it gets even colder.

Climate types

Mongolia has a mix of extreme land climates, desert climates, a steppe climate in the east and a high mountain climate in mountain areas such as the Mongolian Altai Mountains and the Changai Mountains. In all cases, the winters are cold and long, there is little precipitation all year round and the summers in the lower areas are warm to hot, but short. At night it also cools down considerably in the summer months, so that the temperature normally fluctuates between twelve and more than twenty degrees within 24 hours. Large parts of Mongolia consist of deserts, desert steppes and mountains without too much vegetation. To the south lies the Gobi Desert, which consists mostly of rocks.

Extreme weather

Mongolia, due to its location far from the sea and at medium altitude, faces many extremes in weather conditions. In the long winters (October to April), daytime temperatures of minus 15 to minus 30 degrees in the coolest months are more the rule than the exception. At night the mercury drops further, to -25 to below minus 35 degrees Celsius. In the desert areas in the south it usually freezes only moderately in winter and the mercury can rise locally above freezing during the day. After a short transitional season, in which heavy sandstorms can ravage the country, Mongolia is dealing with a short but warm summer. Maximum temperatures of around thirty degrees are normal and in the Gobi desert it will be a bit warmer. The minimum temperatures are, with only five to about fifteen degrees, much lower than during the day. These large differences between day and night temperatures are the result of the fact that there are no factors that dampen a temperature drop during the night hours.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

Maximum temperature Minimum temperature Hours of sunshine per day Days of rainfall per month
January -16℃ -28℃ 6 3
February -12℃ -26℃ 7 2
March -3℃ -17℃ 9 3
April 8℃ -7℃ 9 5
May 16℃ 2℃ 10 8
June 23℃ 9℃ 9 13
July 28℃ 12℃ 9 17
August 27℃ 11℃ 8 16
September 15℃ 1℃ 8 8
October 7℃ -7℃ 7 6
November -5℃ -18℃ 6 4
December -14℃ -25℃ 5 4

Best time to visit Mongolia

Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Mongolia? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Mongolia is a special holiday destination located in the central part of Asia. The country is located between China and Russia. This location, combined with the landscape, means that Mongolia has a mix of cool arid climates and different continental climates. The weather in Mongolia can be called extreme. Winters are cold to freezing cold, while in summer it can get locally tropical warm. There are few destinations where such contrasts in temperature occur. Even within 24 hours, the temperature differences can be enormous. On a day when the thermometer goes towards thirty degrees during the day, it can come to night frost at night. This type of situation occurs mainly in the open air. Within an urban area, the fluctuations in temperature during 24 hours are smaller.

Best months

If you want to celebrate a holiday in Mongolia, summer is the best time to travel. The most ideal travel period is from June to August. This is the period in the dry to very dry country when the chance of precipitation is greatest. In the capital Ulaanbaatar, where less than three hundred millimeters of rain falls on an annual basis, the summer months of June, July and August account for about two-thirds of the annual precipitation sum. In the southern Gobi Desert it is drier with about 100-120 millimeters of rain per year. Summer is also the ‘wettest’ period here.

Tour through Mongolia

If you want to travel around Mongolia, the form of transport partly determines the best travel time. If you are going to participate in a road trip, you want to avoid all the difficult weather and traffic conditions. Departing in the beginning of June or the end of May is the best time for a Mongolia tour. Anyone who travels by train and actually specifically with the Trans-Siberian Express or the Trans-Mongolia Express has a somewhat longer period within which such a special train journey can take place. Dutch travel organizations offer such trips with departures between mid-May and early October. If you go in May, September or October, you will have to deal with lower temperatures, less precipitation and possibly some winter weather on the way.