The West Coast
British Columbia’s coast is fortunate to have the most temperate climate in Canada. Warm airstreams from the Pacific Ocean keep the vegetation growing and the populace happy. It rarely snows in the low-lying areas, and the Coastal Range and the Rocky Mountains block the Pacific air from the Prairies. The moist air leaves the coast over the mountains, so it cools and falls on the western slopes in heavy amounts of rain and snow. The valleys between the mountain ranges experience hot summers almost completely devoid of precipitation.
The Canadian Prairies extend east from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes. Farming is out in force in these regions. Cold winters and humid, hot summers are the norm, with a tolerable amount of snow and rain. Spring showers and temperate autumn weather makes the Prairies one of the top grain-growing areas of the world.
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region
Over half the population of Canada lives near the Great Lakes or along the St. Lawrence River. Winter is very snowy and wind-chilled, while summers are humid and longer than elsewhere in Canada. Rainfall is sufficient to sustain some of the best farming areas in Canada.
This region features one of the most rugged and most variable climates anywhere in the country. In winter, temperatures can vary wildly as Arctic air is replaced by maritime air from passing storms. Snowfall is relatively heavy, and fog is often present in spring and at the onset of summer. July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 16 to 18 degrees Celcius.
North of the Prairies and the populated Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region is a vast boreal forest. This area is snow-covered most of the year, and summer lasts approximately two months. Above the tree-line lies the Arctic. Here, temperatures rise above freezing only a few weeks a year, and the ground remains permanently frozen.