23 Apr But it rains so much!!
Most Canadians envy Vancouver Island’s 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.
Is Vancouver Island really as wet as some people believe it to be? Let’s compare it to a few other destinations….
Average Annual Precipitation (in mm.)
Orlando, FL. 1289
West Palm Beach, FL. 1583
Puerto Vallarta 1392
North Vancouver 2437
Santa Domingo 1447
How come we have the reputation of being so rainy? Because some parts of Vancouver Island are really rainy.
Port Renfrew 3671
Henderson Lake 6600
It’s principally the rain shadow effect that keeps us as dry or drier than many other vacation destinations around the world. Sure, there are warmer, drier vacation destinations, but there are also other factors to consider including: travel costs, crime rates, medical insurance, exchange rates, and more.
All things considered, Vancouver Island is an incredible destination for a wide variety of people. More Canadians are choosing to keep their money inside Canada for any number of reasons, including the support of our own economy and their personal safety.
Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort offers the opportunity to own vacation property in beautiful Parksville, B.C. for a fraction of the cost and expense of maintaining a full time residence.