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Seasons & Weather in Canada


Staff member
In Canada, there are four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn (fall).

In winter, the days are short and can be quite cold. When outdoors, people wear mittens or gloves, scarves, hats, warm coats and insulated boots. In summer, the days are long and are usually warm.

You may want to consider differences in weather when choosing a place to live.

Variable weather
The weather varies across Canada. While northern areas and areas far from large bodies of water can be very cold in winter, some regions—particularly the southern coastal regions—have milder weather. Temperatures in these areas can range from minus 10° to 5° Celsius in the winter and 10°C to 30°C in the summer. In southern coastal regions, there is more rain than snow during winter.

Some parts of Canada—such as the west coast in winter and central areas in summer—are humid. Other parts, such as the Prairies, are very dry.

Many factors influence weather, such as distance from the ocean, latitude, elevation and wind.

Spring—March to May
This is the season when the winter snow begins to melt. Often, there is a lot of rain during this period as the days become warmer and longer and the nights remain cool. Plants begin to grow in spring. In most parts of Canada, trees remain bare until April or May. You will need a warm coat and possibly a hat, mittens and boots during this season.

Summer—June to August/September
Temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius or higher during summer as the weather becomes hot and dry. Some areas, especially near the Great Lakes in Ontario, experience humid air and thunderstorms. Most regions experience mosquitoes in late spring or early summer. In many areas, especially rural ones, black fly season begins during same period and lasts a few weeks. Make sure you arrive with clothing for warm weather. But also have a coat or sweater on hand for cooler days.

Autumn—September to November
In autumn, days become noticeably shorter and the first frosts appear. Leaves in many parts of the country turn from green to red, yellow and brown before they fall from the trees. The weather during autumn can be rainy or dry; this is an unpredictable time of year. You can expect the first snows in November, but sometimes they come earlier. You will need a coat, mittens, hat and boots as the end of autumn arrives.

Winter—December to February or later
You must dress warmly to protect yourself from the cold when you are outside in winter. You will need a warm coat, mittens, hat and boots most days.

You could see snow as early as October and as late as April in some areas, with daytime temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius from December to mid-March and very cold nights. Winds can make temperatures feel even colder. This is known as the wind-chill factor. The east and west coasts have milder winters with warmer temperatures and rainy weather.

As you travel farther north in Canada, it will be colder and the days will be shorter in winter.

Winter tips
Make sure everyone in your family has a warm hat that covers the ears, warm mittens and boots, and a warm, thick coat that buttons or zips closed in the front. Boots with rubber soles are a good idea because they will keep you from slipping on ice and snow.

You should also layer your clothing. For example, you might decide to wear long underwear—also called long johns—or T‑shirts and sweaters underneath your outer clothing. This keeps you warmer than if you wear one thick layer.

You can enjoy many winter sports such as skating, skiing, sledding or building snowmen. It is a good idea to listen to the radio or television, or read a newspaper before you go outside to make sure you know the temperature and weather forecast.

In very cold weather—temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius—do not leave any skin uncovered. Exposing skin in freezing temperatures could cause frostbite.
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