Montréal, where it is located

In Montreal, the largest city of Québec, the climate is continental, with very cold winters and warm summers. Although the city is located on the 45th parallel, ie halfway between the Pole and the Equator, it's freezing in winter because the North American land mass cools down a lot, and outbreaks of polar air masses are frequent.
Here are the average temperatures (at the Saint-Hubert airport, a bit out of the city).
Montreal - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-15-13-70712151493-3-10
Max (°C)-6-32111924262521136-1
Min (°F)5919324554595748372714
Max (°F)212736526675797770554330

Precipitation amounts to about 1,000 millimeters (40 inches) per year and is well distributed over the seasons: in fact, weather fronts pass over the city in all months, and are due to the continual clash between warm and cold air masses. In the only season when this clash is less frequent, ie in summer, thunderstorms can develop in the afternoon, adding more rain, so much so that summer is as rainy as autumn, at least in quantity. During the long winter months, from mid-November to early April, precipitation mostly occurs as snow. Snow normally covers the ground from late November to mid-March. In a year, more than two meters (6.5 feet) of snow fall; occasionally, a snowfall can be seen already in October, and in spring, still in early May. In the winter of 2007/2008, a total of 436 cm (14.3 ft) of snow fell.
Here is the average precipitation.
Montreal - Average precipitation

Winter in Montreal runs from mid-November to mid-March and is very cold, in fact, the average temperature, about -10 °C (14 °F) in January, is similar to that of Moscow, Russia. However, at least, the days here are not as short as in Nordic countries because, as mentioned, the latitude is not very high.
Waves of freezing cold are accompanied by the Blizzard, the north wind blowing in gusts, or by the Barber, the cold and wet wind able to freeze beard and hair, which blows from the north-east, ie from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Given the constant weather instability, the temperature may exceed freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) even in winter, and in these cases, snow can melt and it can rain. On the other hand, intense cold waves, with lows around -25/-30 °C (-13/-22 °F), occur practically every year.
Snowfalls are frequent, in fact, it snows for several days per month; occasionally, there can be real snow storms, like that of March 4, 1971, with 43 cm (17 in) of snow in 24 hours, or that of December 27, 2012, with 45 cm (17.7 in) in 24 hours.

Spring, from mid-March to May, is an unstable season, characterized by temperature swings. It is initially cold in March, with snowfalls and frosts still frequent, then it gradually advances, between the first warm days and the return of cold weather, and it's normally cold still in April, while it becomes mild by May, when also thunderstorms begin to develop in the afternoon.

Summer, from June to August, is quite warm, and on hot days, it is also sultry because of the contribution given by the rivers, Saint Lawrence and Ottawa, which widen near the city, creating lakes that provide additional moisture. It is said, a little ironically, that there are only two seasons in Montreal: the winter and the month of July: obviously, this is an exaggeration, but there is some truth, in the sense that July stands out as the warmest and sunniest month; August is not really so different, but it's already a bit cooler and less sunny. However, in summer, there is a moderate amount of cool and cloudy days, while on fine days, thunderstorms can erupt in the afternoon. There can be periods with hot and humid weather, with lows around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F) and highs around 32/33 °C (90/91 °F), which typically only last a few days; more rarely, it can even get hotter, as happened in July 2011, when the temperature reached 36 °C (97 °F).

Autumn, from September to mid-November, is initially pleasant, in fact, with several sunny days, with temperatures exceeding 25 °C (77 °F): this kind of weather, called Indian summer, usually occurs in September, but sometimes also in the first half of October. As the weeks pass, however, the temperature decreases rapidly, bad weather becomes more frequent, and the first cold days occur.


The amount of sunshine in Montréal is good in late spring and summer; in the other months, it is not high, and it is quite scarce in winter, when the sun is very rarely seen. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.

Best Time

The best time to visit Montréal is from mid-May to late September. In midsummer, especially in July and early August, there can be hot and muggy days, so, this period can be excluded if you cannot stand the heat. In May and early June, it can still be a bit cold. However, you always have to take into account the possibility of rain and changes in temperature.