Least Stormy Canadian Cities

There are a few centres of calm among Canada's cities, at least as far as weather is concerned.

Here are rankings for large Canadian cities that have the fairest weather. These cities least often have intense rainstorms, severe snowstorms, thunderstorms and strong winds.

The tables below list the top ten cities as measured by the number of days they have each type of bad weather event. (You can also see rankings for Canada's stormiest cities.)

Three cities make the top ten lists for the fewest days a year with any kind of storm. Kelowna, British Columbia is noteworthy for it's lack of heavy rain and strong wind. Plus it averages just one intense snowstorm a year. Altogether, Kelowna's chances of a major precipitation event amount to just over one day a year, the lowest of any large Canadian city.

Another calm weather city is Victoria, British Columbia where thunderstorms and major snowstorms are exceptionally scarce. Edmonton, Alberta also shines on all four measures for avoiding stormy weather, particularly when it comes to wind and rain.

As for staying away from massive dumps of rain or snow, the two Saskatchewan cities of Regina and Saskatoon stand out. Besides Kelowna, they are the only others to average less than three days a year with heavy precipitation.

The cities included in these rankings are Canada's largest metropolitan areas. These are the 33 urban regions that had over 100,000 people according to the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. The storm data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010, except for thunderstorms which are averages for 1971 to 2000.

Fewest Heavy Rainstorms

Drenching rainfall is extremely unusual for Canada's city least likely to get a heavy rainstorm. Kelowna averages just one day every five years when rainfall amounts to 25 millimetres or more. Most other cities in the top ten list can expect two to four such storms a year.

Average number of days a year with 25 millimetres (1 inch) or more of rain
City Days a Year
Kelowna, British Columbia 0.2
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 1.7
Regina, Saskatchewan 1.8
Calgary, Alberta 1.8
Edmonton, Alberta 2.3
Winnipeg, Manitoba 3.0
Saguenay, Quebec 3.2
Victoria, British Columbia 3.7
Peterborough, Ontario 3.7
Thunder Bay, Ontario 4.0

Fewest Severe Snowstorms

Blizzards occur just one day a winter at several cities in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The other Canadian cities that least often have to dig out from a deep snow dump have fewer than 2.5 days a year on average when snowfall amounts to ten centimetres or more.

Total days annually on average with 10 centimetres (3.9 inches) or more of snowfall
City Days a Year
Regina, Saskatchewan 0.9
Victoria, British Columbia 1.0
Kelowna, British Columbia 1.0
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 1.1
Abbotsford, British Columbia 1.6
Edmonton, Alberta 1.7
Calgary, Alberta 1.7
Vancouver, British Columbia 1.7
Winnipeg, Manitoba 2.0
Brantford, Ontario 2.4

Fewest Thunderstorms

Capital cities at opposite ends of the country lead this list for fewest thunderstorms in Canada, with Victoria nudging out St. John's for top spot. St. John's, Newfoundland is notable here, because it is otherwise one of the stormiest cities in Canada. Ten of Canada's cities average less than 19 days a year with thunder and lightning.

Average number of days annually with thunderstorms
City Days a Year
Victoria, British Columbia 3.1
St. John's, Newfoundland 4.5
Vancouver, British Columbia 6.1
Abbotsford, British Columbia 7.1
Saint John, New Brunswick 11.0
Halifax, Nova Scotia 11.4
Moncton, New Brunswick 12.8
Kelowna, British Columbia 14.6
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 15.6
Edmonton, Alberta 18.8

Fewest Strong Winds

Several Canadian cities across the country don't often have blustery days. But Kelowna is the only one where winds of 63 kilometres or more an hour are not at all normal.

Total days per year on average with wind speeds of 63 kilometres an hour (39 miles per hour) or greater
City Days a Year
Kelowna, British Columbia 0.0
Sherbrooke, Quebec 0.3
Edmonton, Alberta 0.5
Victoria, British Columbia 0.6
Abbotsford, British Columbia 1.0
Thunder Bay, Ontario 1.1
Montréal, Quebec 1.2
Peterborough, Ontario 1.3
Québec City, Quebec 1.4
Kingston, Ontario 1.4

Environment Canada. Meteorological Service of Canada. Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Climate Normals & Averages.

Environment Canada. National Climate Data and Information Archive. Canadian Cities are Weather Winners!

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