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Snow on The Lions Ears seen from Burnaby Mountain - Photo Don

Weather and Climate

Below is information on the province’s weather and climate and links to related websites that will be useful before and during your trip. BC has beaches and coves, mountains, rainforests and even Canada’s only desert so expect wide ranges in temperature and weather patterns.

Weather Conditions, Forecasts, and Alerts

Online up-to-date weather conditions and forecasts for British Columbia are available via:

Weather alerts for British Columbia can be found at:

Climate

British Columbia’s large size (nearly 945,000 sq km, almost four times the size of Great Britain) and diverse topography means the climate varies greatly from area to area. This often means substantial variations in average hours of sunshine, average temperatures, and rain- and snowfall accumulations, even over short distances.

The province’s climate is influenced by its location immediately east of the Pacific Ocean, prevailing westerly winds, the north-south orientation of its towering mountain chains and the province’s northerly latitude.

In winter, Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria and the coastal regions are generally considered mild for Canada seeing below-freezing temperatures only a few times in some areas, but dress warmly and appropriately if you’re heading to Whistler, the Interior or Northern BC where it’s colder and snowier. January is generally the coldest month in BC.

Summer temperatures in the province have gone up over the past decade; daytime temperatures along coastal areas now average around 20-25°C (68-78°F) but can be higher. The Interior sees arid heat and it frequently surpasses 30-35°C (86-95°F). August is the hottest month in BC.

Spring and fall are generally comfortable and not too extreme but, location dependent, it can be rainy so pack a waterproof jacket and umbrella. November is statistically the wettest month in the province.

Temperature Averages

Climate normals or averages are used to summarize or describe the average climatic conditions of a particular location. At the completion of each decade, Environment Canada updates these stats for as many locations and as many climatic characteristics as possible.

Below is a table of temperature norms compiled from Environment Canada data for key cities around British Columbia showing the average maximum and minimum daily temperature (rounded to the nearest degree Celsius) recorded for the particular month. The figure after the city in brackets is the elevation in meters above sea level.

A table of climate information for some communities in BC

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989