Beijing has a continental climate. Annual rainfall averages at nearly 700mm, mostly in July and August.
Winter is dry and cold and has little snow with a frost-free period of 185 days.
On July 22, 2012, a storm of unforeseen proportion brought a downpour, averaging 170mm across the city, with more than 490mm (18.1 in) of rain falling in the Fangshan district. This was estimated to be the worst storm in six decades.
About 1.9m people were affected by the downpour. There were 37 fatalities, 25 of them from drowning. More than 65,000 people had to be evacuated. Flood and economic losses were estimated at 10bn yuan ($1.5bn, £960m), Pan Anjun, deputy chief of Beijing flood control headquarters, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Reports of good drainage in some areas of the city have led to discussions about possible improvements and resilience measures to be implemented in some of the worst affected areas.