Bazhong (Chinese: 巴中; pinyin: Bāzhōng; literally: "centre of Ba") is a prefecture-level city in north-eastern Sichuan province, China. Its population was 3,284,000at the 2013 census whom 1,126,790 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made up of Bazhou urban district.
Bazhong was made a prefecture-level city in 1993. Its history, however, goes back much further. During the Xia and Shang Dynasties, it was purportedly a vassal territory of the Liang State. In the Spring and Autumn period, it was called Bazi (巴子). In the Qin and Western Han dynasties it was called Ba County (巴郡). In the Eastern Han Dynasty around the year 100 AD it was changed to Hanchang County (漢昌縣). One hundred years later it reverted to Baxi County (巴西). Since then, it has usually either been called Liang County (梁郡) or Yi County (益州).
Bazhong is located at the southern end of the Daba Mountains, and borders Shaanxi province in the north, Dazhou to the east, Nanchong to the south, and Guangyuan to the west. Its area is 12,301 square kilometres (4,749 sq mi). The area is mountainous with elevations ranging from 208.3 to 2,507 metres (683 to 8,225 ft) above sea level.
Bazhong has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) and is largely mild and humid, with four distinct seasons. Winter is short, mild, and foggy, though actual precipitation is low. January averages 5.8 °C (42.4 °F), and while frost may occur, snow is rare. Summers are long, hot and humid, with highs often reaching 33 °C (91 °F). The daily average in July and August is around 27 °C (81 °F), with August being slightly warmer. Spring is warm and temperatures rise quickly but unstably, and hail is common. Rainfall is light in winter and can be heavy in summer, and more than 70% of the annual total occurs from May to September. The annual frost-free period lasts from 260 to 280 days.
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