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Weather

Victoria enjoys a mild climate year-round. You may be surprised to discover that it rains much less here than it does in Vancouver, about 30 miles away. Our distance from the mountains largely accounts for this; we are also further south—in fact, we are below the 49th Parallel, the boundary between Canada and the United States! We can stand on the beach and look across the water at our friends in Washington State.

Our climate is often called "modified Mediterranean" or "cool Mediterranean" because of our warm, dry summers, which make you feel as if you're in the south of France. Our long growing season makes Victoria a gardener's paradise.

Occasionally we do get snow, as we did in the winter of 1996. The "Blizzard of '96" will be talked about for years to come, not only because of the challenges it posed, but because of the community spirit Victorians showed in checking on neighbours, shovelling driveways and sidewalks, and driving essential-service employees to work in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Local radio stations were a huge help in keeping us all in touch.

The City of Victoria website has useful information about our average monthly temperatures and other suggestions (such as good walking shoes). You can also check the Weather Network for more up-to-the-minute conditions and forecasts.

For current conditions in Victoria, check the Environment Canada forecast.

Air quality

Victoria enjoys fresh ocean breezes off the Pacific, and you can often smell the brisk, invigorating salty air. Our air quality is generally good, and the Capital Regional District is working in partnership with other organizations to ensure it stays that way.

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