Climate & Weather

The Island’s climate is envied by the rest of Canada due to its mild winters and moderate summers.

In fact, Parksville Qualicum Beach has been called “Canada’s Riveria” by the Globe and Mail newspaper. 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 local 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.


“ Parksville Qualicum Beach is known as 'Canada’s Riviera.' ”

The rain shadow effect means the west coast of the Island is much wetter than the east coast. The average yearly precipitation ranges from 6,650 millimetres (260 in) at Henderson Lake on the 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.

A 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 Parksville Qualicum Beach is known as “Canada’s Riviera”. Only in the extreme northern part of the 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.

Thursday, Mar 04

H: 9°   L: 4°

Weather icon Rain throughout the day.

Rain throughout the day.

Friday, Mar 05

H: 10°   L: 6°

Weather icon Rain until afternoon, starting again overnight.

Rain until afternoon, starting again overnight.

Saturday, Mar 06

H: 10°   L: 5°

Weather icon Possible light rain in the morning and overnight.

Possible light rain in the morning and overnight.

Sunday, Mar 07

H: 9°   L: 4°

Weather icon Light rain until evening.

Light rain until evening.

Monday, Mar 08

H: 9°   L: 2°

Weather icon Possible light rain in the morning.

Possible light rain in the morning.

Tuesday, Mar 09

H: 11°   L: 1°

Weather icon Clear throughout the day.

Clear throughout the day.

Wednesday, Mar 10

H: 9°   L: 2°

Weather icon Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Partly cloudy throughout the day.

Thursday, Mar 11

H: 10°   L: 3°

Weather icon Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

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Discovery Guide

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