Canada's Rainiest Cities
One in three of Canada's large cities receive a metre (39 inches) or more of rain and snow a year. Abbotsford, British Columbia tops the list with an average 1538 millimetres, about five feet, of precipitation falling annually.
But Abbotsford isn't even among the top three cities for most days a year with precipitation. That honour falls to St. John's, Newfoundland along with Saguenay and Sherbrooke in Quebec.
Where Abbotsford does excel is in frequency of rain. The Lower Fraser Valley urban centre averages 174 rainy days a year. That means nearly one-half of the city's days have a drizzle or downpour.
Below you'll find lists ranking Canada's major cities based on how much rain and snow they usually get, and the number of days a year with precipitation or rain.
The cities included in these rankings are Canada's 33 largest metropolitan areas. These are the urban regions that had over 100,000 people according to the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. The precipitation data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010.
|Abbotsford, British Columbia||60.5||1538|
|St. John's, Newfoundland||60.4||1534|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||57.8||1468|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||57.3||1457|
|St. John, New Brunswick||51.0||1295|
|Québec City, Quebec||46.6||1184|
|Moncton, New Brunswick||44.3||1124|
The amount of precipitation a metropolitan area receives can vary considerably from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Topography particularly affects rainfall in the Metro Vancouver region, which sprawls across a flat river delta to the foot of a coastal mountain range.
The precipitation data given here for Vancouver are measured in the Oakridge neighbourhood of south-central Vancouver, where rain and snow amount to 1457 mm a year. A short ways south, at the Vancouver airport, located on an island in the Fraser River, the annual total drops to 1189 mm.
But a little to the north, at the base of Grouse Mountain on Redonda Drive in North Vancouver, rain gauges fill much higher. The North Vancouver weather station averages 2522 mm, well over eight feet, of precipitation pouring down a year. That site gets over twice the precipitation of the Vancouver airport, and nearly one metre more than Abbotsford.
Most Wet Days
Three of Canada's large cities see more days with rain or snowfall than dry days. St. John's, Newfoundland heads the list of most wet days, with 212 days a year when at least 0.2 mm (0.008 inches) of precipitation lands. Here are Canada's ten major cities that most often have rain or snow:
|St. John's, Newfoundland||212|
|Abbotsford, British Columbia||179|
|Québec City, Quebec||175|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||168|
|Kitchener - Waterloo, Ontario||166|
Most Rainy Days
Some of the wettest cities have much of their precipitation land as snow. If we just consider rainfall, the rankings shuffle a bit. Abbotsford, BC with 174 rainy days annually tops the list of Canada's cities where it rains most frequently. Here are the seven major Canadian cities that typically have over 125 rainy days a year:
|Abbotsford, British Columbia||174|
|Vancouver, British Columbia||164|
|St. John's, Newfoundland||163|
|Victoria, British Columbia||155|
|Halifax, Nova Scotia||143|
Environment Canada. Meteorological Service of Canada. Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Climate Normals & Averages.