The weather pattern of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, aka Dali, is defined by its latitudinal and topographical features. Firstly, because Dali lies on a low latitude in the northern hemisphere (it lies at a latitude of 25 degrees N, circa, only 1.5 degrees above the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees N) it tends to have a warm, subtropical monsoon climate, but because it is situated on a high plateau, it tends to be cooler than more low-lying regions, such as neighboring Kunming, about 315 km (195 mi) to the east. Therefore Dali has a relatively temperate climate year round, with no extremes in summer or in winter.
In fact, as is true of most of Yunnan Province except for mountainous terrain, the daily temperature variation tends to be greater than the seasonal variation in temperature, which calls for layered clothing, or jackets and sweaters early in the morning and again during the evening. The climate of Dali is generally characterized as a subtropical highland monsoon climate, with lots of sunshine and fresh air. In fact, quite a lot of both – and especially the latter – given that the city is located on a flat plateau between a mountain range (the Cangshan Mountains to the west) and a large lake (Lake Erhai to the east), creating a natural wind tunnel, Dali gets a great deal of wind, year round. In fact, like the city of Chicago in the U.S., which is also located nearby a large lake (Lake Michigan) and therefore gets a lot of wind year round, Dali is nicknamed “Windy City”.
The best time to visit Dali is from March to June when springtime is in full swing and all of nature seems to be in the process of rebirth, as it were.