Situated near the fringe of the encroaching Gobi Desert, Beijing has a dry and often blustery climate. Winters are cold and windy with almost no precipitation. Fall and spring offer the most dependently pleasant conditions and relatively cheap prices for air travel and lodging. Summer (June through August) is peak tourist season, but the weather can be hot and humid, with occasional torrential downpours. Beijing’s air pollution often makes headlines around the globe, but the city also experiences long stretches of blue-sky days. Air quality tends to be comparatively worse in summer and winter, though a shift in wind and humidity can quickly change things for the better.