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Click on one of the images above.  All four are from different weather services. The right hand one is for Abbottsford, a Vancouver Suburb. Add about 3 degrees C. or 5 degrees F. for Downtown in the summer. For my friends from the USA (the last Bastion against the evil French metric system), you can convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit by doubling the figure and adding 30. The result is only approximate, but it will give you a rough idea.

There is one word to describe Vancouver's weather, unpredictable. There is no such thing as a reliable forecast for Vancouver. Local weathermen usually try to cover all bases. A typical forecast sounds something like "Sunny with a possible high of 25 C, a chance of showers, possibly turning into light flurries or hail". It does rain a lot in Vancouver. Most Vancouverites are very touchy on this subject and will likely be very evasive, or will simply lie about it. If you are from the southern UK, you already have a pretty good notion of what our weather is like. Vancouver holds the title for the wettest major city in Canada, but still receives about 2000 hours of sun a year. Despite its Northern Latitude (49 deg), the warm Japanese current gives the city a mild climate, and the latitude also means daylight till 10 PM in the summer months. In early summer or fall, days often start out cloudy, due to marine air, but clear by noon. Climate changes rapidly in BC as you move inland, 300 kilometres from the coast, its desert.

What's the best time of the year to visit? That depends on what you want you want. If its skiing, then come in December, January or February. These are the best months on the local mountains, the season at Whistler or Mt. Baker is good for a month extra, at either end. It seldom snows in Vancouver itself, and when it does, its chaos. (See picture below) This usually provides very amusing entertainment for the folks in Calgary and Toronto as they watch most of us put our cars in the ditch on their evening newscast. Vancouverites are notorious for not putting on snow tires, unless they absolutely have to. The rainiest month is usually November. The best months are generally, May through September. For some strange reason, the last 2 weeks of June and first 2 weeks of July tend to be unsettled, no one knows why. If you want to drive into the interior, May-September is the time you should come as well. Weather gets more predictable as you head inland. Some bozo decided that the place to put Vancouver's official weather station was at the Airport, which is located on an island in the Chuck (Canadian slang for ocean). This means that the temperatures for Vancouver, you see in your local paper are not too accurate, especially in the summer. It is usually about 3-5 C warmer downtown and as much as 10 C warmer in the inland suburbs. This trend is reversed in winter, with temperatures tending to be cooler than the official ones, although the difference is not as pronounced as in the summer. Those of you from San Francisco, will recognize this phenomenon, that city has a similar pattern. One nice thing about Vancouver, is that it cools off at night. Even on the hottest day of the year, you will likely need a light jacket in the evening. No lying in your hotel room at 2 AM with the sweat pouring down your body. (For this, try Toronto in July). Summer temperatures (except in the exceptionally hot summer of 98) seldom exceed 30 C. and are more usually in the 22-27 C range, except for the eastern suburbs. In the arid southern Interior from Kamloops to the US Border, summer temperatures can exceed 40 C. (Americans, double and add 30 to approx. .convert to Fahrenheit)

Vancouver is also a city of mini-climates. This is due to the close proximity of the mountains. It can be raining cats and dogs in North Vancouver and bright and sunny in the southern suburb of White Rock.

If your really into learning about Vancouver Weather in depth, try the Vancouver Weather Page

For weather forecasts in other areas in BC, go to Welcome to the Weather Office

Current Satellite Image for North America (Vancouver is near the bottom of the Island at upper left).

 

 

Banana tree in my Neighbours yard, and yes it can snow. This was the worst one ever in January 1997.