Climate

Vancouver is one of Canada’s warmest cities in the winter. Vancouver’s climate is temperate by Canadian standards and is classified as oceanic or marine west coast, which under the Köppen climate classification system is classified as Cfb that borders on a warm-summer Mediterranean climate Csb. While during summer months the inland temperatures are significantly higher, Vancouver has the coolest summer average high of all major Canadian metropolitan areas. The summer months are typically dry, with an average of only one in five days during July and August receiving precipitation. In contrast, there is some precipitation during nearly half the days from November through March.

Vancouver is also one of the wettest Canadian cities. However, precipitation varies throughout the metropolitan area. Annual precipitation as measured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond averages 1,189 mm (46.8 in), compared with 1,588 mm (62.5 in) in the downtown area and 2,044 mm (80.5 in) in North Vancouver. The daily maximum averages 22 °C (72 °F) in July and August, with highs rarely reaching 30 °C (86 °F).

The highest temperature ever recorded at the airport was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) set on July 30, 2009, and the highest temperature ever recorded within the city of Vancouver was 35.0 °C (95.0 °F) occurring first on July 31, 1965, again on August 8, 1981, and finally on May 29, 1983. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was −17.8 °C (0.0 °F) on January 14, 1950 and again on December 29, 1968.

On average, snow falls on nine days per year, with three days receiving 5 cm (2.0 in) or more. Average yearly snowfall is 38.1 cm (15.0 in) but typically does not remain on the ground for long. Winters in Greater Vancouver are the fourth-mildest of Canadian cities after nearby Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, all on Vancouver Island. Vancouver’s growing season averages 237 days, from March 18 until November 10. Vancouver’s 1981–2010 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone ranges from 8A to 9A depending on elevation and proximity to water.