Climate in Canada
The climate in Canada varies between different climate zones. In northern Canada you will find a polar climate, while in the west a Mediterranean climate is characteristic. Temperatures on Canada’s east coast are mild, and the continental provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have a continental climate. Canada is the world’s second-largest country, after Russia, and the temperature differences between the summer and winter months are correspondingly high. In the north of Canada it gets cold in winter, it can be as low as -40 degrees Celsius, while during a Canadian summer you can expect temperatures of up to 30 degrees. one of the warmest regions of Canada is the Okanagan Wine Valley, located in the province of British Columbia. In my article you will learn about the best time to visit Canada. I’ll tell you when it’s the most beautiful in each region, and what kind of weather awaits you during the four seasons in the regions of Canada.
Best time to visit Canada?
The best time to visit Canada depends on the region. In general, the summer months of June to September are the best time to visit Canada. In the northern areas of Canada, the best time to visit is shortened to the months of July and August. Due to the huge size of this North American country, the local climate differences are huge, so the best time to travel really does depend on the region. For outdoor enthusiasts, Canada is the perfect destination year-round.
- Best time to visit Canada: June to September
In early summer the days are particularly long, but these months are also particularly rainy. For nature lovers, spring is good for watching wildlife in the late twilight.
- Good time for wildlife watching
The summer months are the most popular time to visit Canada. The warm temperatures and long days are great for exploring the national parks and hiking. The summer is considered an ideal travel time for the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The good weather in summer attracts many tourists and locals who want to discover the country. Increased prices and overflowing attractions must therefore be taken into consideration when purchasing in the high season. It’s also advisable to book accommodation and campsites at an early stage.
- Ideal travel time for the Rocky Mountains
The climate in the autumn is pleasantly mild in the coastal regions, in the north the first snow falls. Autumn is the optimal travel time to marvel at the beautiful display of colours in the Indian Summer. The unusually dry and warm weather transforms the forests into an array of beautiful colours. It’s particularly beautiful at this time of year in the eastern provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Another benefit of a trip in autumn is the declining number of mosquitoes.
- Indian Summer: September to October
In winter, a cold climate awaits you in Canada. You should especially expect icy temperatures in the north and in the middle of the province of British Columbia. The thermometer drops quickly to -30 degrees Celsius. Many attractions and outdoor activities are closed at this time of year due to heavy snowfall. Canoe tours and mountain hikes do not take place. However, the best time to ski is in the winter months, and in the province of Manitoba you can see polar bears (mid October to November.) The ski season is between November and March, then you can best test the famous Champagne powder snow on Canada’s slopes.
- Skif season: November to March
- Observe the polar bears: mid-October to November
Climate and weather information about Canada’s regions
Best travel time and climate: Canada’s north
The best time to visit northern Canada is between June and August. The polar climate ensures average temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius in January, but -40 degrees is also not uncommon here. The northern coastal regions are surrounded by ice all year round. Only Hudson Bay thaws for three months a year. Short summers and long, cold winters are typical of the Canadian north. The first snow can already fall in September. Have you always wanted to see the northern lights? The northwest of Canada is especially known for the phenomenon, and attracts many visitors. The best time to see the Northern Lights is September and May, but there is never a guarantee.
The Climate in Western Canada
The climate in the west of Canada is much warmer than in the north. The relatively warm Pacific Coast provides for mild temperatures. and mountains protect the west from extreme cold. Even in the winter months, temperatures rarely fall below freezing. In summer, it’s up to 25 degrees Celsius. The maritime climate often brings heavy rainfall, and the air coming from the sea carries a lot of moisture to the coast. This turns in to precipitation in front of the surrounding mountains. One of the most interesting cities on the west coast is Vancouver. The climate in Toronto is also mild and sometimes has longer periods of fine weather. In July it is 24 degrees, the warmest on average, and the sun shines for up to 10 hours. With five rainy days per month, July and August are the driest months. December is the rainiest month with 17 rainy days. The winter months are particularly dark, with only one hour of sunshine in December. Temperatures drop to as low as zero degrees Celsius in December.
Climate data for Vancouver
|Max. Temperature in °C||6||8||11||14||18||22||23||23||19||14||10||7|
|Min. Temperature in °C||1||0||3||5||8||11||12||11||10||7||4||2|
|Hours of sunshine per day||2||3||4||6||7||7||10||8||6||4||2||1|
|Water temperature in °C||9||8||8||9||11||13||14||15||13||12||11||8|
|Rainy days per month||15||14||14||11||9||7||5||5||8||12||17||17|
Climate and weather data for eastern Canada
In the east you will find a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The temperatures on the east coast are milder year round. On the Atlantic Coast it remains comparatively cool in the summer. Mild winters and cool summers dominate the coastal region of Newfoundland and the provinces south of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Clearly, autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons in eastern Canada. The deciduous forests transform Canada into a colourful setting during the Indian Summer. The winter months are colder inland than on the coast. Many national parks and accommodations close at this time.
The climate in the south of Canada
It is warmest in southern Canada. Ontario and Quebec are characterised by a continental climate. Summers are hot and humid, while winters are cold and snowy. In Quebec it gets warm in summer, up to 23 degrees Celsius, while the sun shines for about seven hours in June. In December the temperature is between -6 and -13 degrees. The coldest month of the year is January with a minimum of -17 degrees. Quebec is very rainy, and in the summer months it can rain for at least 11 days on average. There is a lot of snow in December and January. The climate in the coastal region is milder and more pleasant due to the ocean currents than inland regions.
Climate data for Quebec
|Max. Temperature in °C||-8||-7||-1||7||17||22||23||23||18||11||2||-6|
|Min. Temperature in °C||-17||-16||-10||-2||5||11||14||12||8||3||-4||-13|
|Water temperature in °C||3||5||4||5||6||7||6||5||5||4||2||2|
|Rainy days per month||16||14||13||12||12||13||13||11||12||12||15||16|
The climate in the prairie provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
In the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, a continental climate dominates. Short but very warm summers characterise the region. Precipitation is rare. When it does rain, it is in short and strong spurts. The prairie provinces therefore often suffer from drought. The transitions between seasons are often omitted. Summer weather is often followed by a sudden start of winter, and vice versa. The climate in Alberta often deviates from the weather conditions of the prairies, when the Chinhook wind brings a warm air to the area.
In den Prärieprovinzen, den Staaten Alberta, Saskatchewan und Manitoba überwiegt ein kontinentales Klima. Kurze, aber sehr warme Sommer prägen die Region. Niederschlag ist selten. Wenn es regnet, dann in kurzen und starken Schüben. Die Prärieprovinzen leiden daher oft an Trockenheit. Die Übergänge zwischen den Jahreszeiten entfallen meist, auf sommerliches Wetter folgt oft ein plötzlicher Winterbeginn und umgekehrt. Das Klima in Alberta weicht oft von den Wetterverhältnissen der Prairies ab, wenn der Wind Chinook warme Luftmassen nach Alberta trägt.
My opinion on the best time to visit Canada
The best time to visit Canada is in the summer, and depending on the province it can be the spring or autumn months. On the east and west coasts of Canada you can expect a year-round mild climate, while inland, summer and winter are more extreme. Due to the vast expanse of Canada, the climate differs greatly between the regions. Depending on your travel plans, the winter months may be worthwhile for a trip to Canada. Winter sport enthusiasts will especially get their money’s worth in the cold season. For other outdoor activities like canoeing, hiking or camping, most of the summer months are optimal. In the eastern provinces, autumn is a real highlight when the forests turn into a sea of colours.
Die beste Reisezeit für Kanada liegt im Sommer und je nach Provinz zudem in den Frühlings- und Herbstmonaten. An der Ost- und Westküste Kanadas erwartet euch ganzjährig ein mildes Klima, während im Landesinneren Sommer und Winter extremer ausgeprägt sind. Durch die enormen Weiten Kanadas unterscheidet sich das Klima stark zwischen den Regionen. Abhängig von euren Reiseplänen können sich auch die Wintermonate für eine Reise nach Kanada lohnen. Besonders Wintersportler kommen in der kalten Jahreszeit auf ihre Kosten. Für andere Outdoor-Aktivitäten wie Kanu-Touren, Wandern oder Campen sind meist die Sommermonate optimal. In den östlichen Provinzen ist der Herbst ein echtes Highlight, wenn die Wälder sich in ein buntes Farbenmeer verwandeln.