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Climate - Vancouver

Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go

United States version (°F - inches - feet). See also the metric version (°C - mm - meters)

Flag - Canada

Vancouver, where it's located

In Vancouver, British Columbia, the climate is oceanic, cool and humid, with relatively mild and rainy winters and cool and fairly sunny summers. The west coast is the only part of Canada where the average temperature remains above freezing even in winter, and Vancouver is the only major city not having a freezing winter.
Here are the average temperatures.
Vancouver average temperatures
Vancouver J F M A M J J A S O N D
Min (°F) 34 36 37 43 48 54 57 57 52 45 37 34
Max (°F) 45 46 50 55 63 68 72 72 66 57 48 43

Precipitation is quite abundant, given that it amounts to 47 inches per year, but in the northern suburbs, closer to the mountains, it reaches 63 in; it is more frequent in the period from November to March; summer is the least rainy season. Vancouver is not exactly on the ocean, since it is protected by the island of the same name, and is overlooking the Strait of Georgia. To the west of the island, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, it rains much more, since precipitation exceeds 100 inches per year.
Here is the average precipitation in Vancouver.
Average precipitation Vancouver
Vancouver J F M A M J J A S O N D Year
Prec. (in) 6.7 4.1 4.5 3.5 2.6 2.2 1.4 1.4 2.0 4.7 7.5 6.3 46.9
Days 20 15 18 15 13 12 6 7 8 15 20 20 169

Winter, from December to February, is quite cold, given that the maximum temperatures range between 43 ° to 46 °F, but compared to the rest of Canada it's much better. The temperatures are similar to those of cities such as London and Paris.
The rains are frequent, and during the periods when mild and moist Pacific currents prevail, the temperature can exceed 50 °F. In periods of calm, fog can instead form.
On average it snows for 11 days a year, and 15 inches of snow per year fall; however, snow usually does not last long, because after a while the mild currents from the ocean begin to blow again. Sometimes, colder periods may occur, with frosts of a certain intensity. In December 2008, the temperature dropped to 8.5 °F, and in February 2014 to 16 °F.
North of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains, which culminate in Mount Waddington, 13,186 feet high, are very snowy and therefore host glaciers and permanent snow already at altitudes of less than 6,500 feet; in fact the landscape of the area, composed of fjords and islands, has been shaped over millennia by glaciers.
In winter you can ski in the mountains just outside the city, like Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour, or in the more northern coastal mountains; in 2010 Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympic Games.

Spring, from March to May, is initially very cool, if not cold, and rainy, but it gradually becomes milder, although a little cold at night is still possible in May. Even sunny days become gradually more frequent.

Summer, from June to August, is cool, but also quite sunny: the maximum temperatures range between 68 °F and 73 °F, but an high-pressure system provides longer periods of good weather than in the rest of Canada. If winter in Vancouver is the mildest large city of Canada, in summer it is the coolest, but also the sunniest. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, summer is even cooler: in Tofino the average maximum temperature in July and August is 64/66 °F.
Unlike in the other seasons, in summer there are several consecutive days of good weather, but there can also be rainy periods, with cloudy skies, rain and cool temperatures, in which highs remain around 60/65 °F.
Hot days, with highs above 85 °F, are rare, and sometimes do not occur for a whole summer.

Autumn, from September to November, is initially mild and pleasant, while starting from October it gradually becomes colder and definitely rainy. November is a very rainy month.

The amount of sunshine in Vancouver is scarce in late autumn and winter, when the sky is usually overcast, while in summer it becomes good, since there are several sunny days.


For swimming, the sea in Vancouver and along the coast of British Columbia is cold even in summer, as you can see in the following table.
Sea temperature Vancouver
Vancouver J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sea (°F) 46 46 46 50 54 55 57 57 55 52 48 46

When to go

The best period to visit Vancouver goes from mid-May to late September, with a preference for July and August, because they are the warmest and driest months.

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Metric version (°C)

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