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Vancouver Island Climate and Weather

Most Canadians envy Vancouver Island climate as it is the country's mildest. Temperatures on the coast, even in January, are usually above 0 °C (32 °F). During the summer season, maximum temperatures average 21-24 °C (70-75 °F).

The rain shadow effect of Vancouver Island's mountains (including Mount Arrowsmith, southwest of Parksville and Qualicum Beach), as well as the mountains of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, creates wide variation in precipitation.

The rain shadow effect means the west coast of Vancouver Island is much wetter than the east coast. The average yearly precipitation ranges from 6,650 millimetres (260 in) at Henderson Lake on Vancouver Island’s west coast (the wettest place in North America) to only 635 millimetres (25 in) at the Saanich Peninsula in Greater Victoria. Rainfall is heaviest in the autumn and winter and snow is rare at low altitudes on Vancouver Island.

A Vancouver Island weather feature to note is the Mediterranean-like dryness that residents and visitors alike enjoy in latitudes as high as 50°N. This is part of the reason why the Parksville and Qualicum Beach region of Vancouver Island is known as “Canada’s Riviera”. Only in the extreme northern part of Vancouver Island near Port Hardy is the driest summer month’s rainfall as much as 20% of the wet winter months. The west coast regions of other continents at similar latitudes normally have even rainfall distribution throughout the year.

The above text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License - learn more at Wikipedia's Vancouver Island page.
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