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Canadian Weather

The seasons* in Canada are:

Spring

March 21 to June 20

The temperature range is -6 ° to +21 °C.

Read more on Spring weather

Spring can be a very challenging season as the weather can change very quickly. It is not impossible for it to snow, rain and be +10°C all in one day. It can rain without warning, best to carry an umbrella with you each day.

In March and April, you will need to wear sweaters, windproof and rainproof jackets, and rainproof shoes. May and June it gets warm enough to go outside without a coat on.

Don’t put your winter clothes away too early, we have been known to get our last snowstorm in mid-April.

During this season, the heat in the building is turned off and the air conditioning is turned on.  The timing of this switch is based on the temperature outside.

Summer Clothing enter stores.

Summer

June 21 to September 20

The temperature range is +15 ° to +30 °C.

Read more on Summer weather

Summer is sometimes very hot and humid while at other times it is wet and windy. You should have shorts and T-shirts but also sweaters and long pants.

Buildings can be cold inside as the Air Conditioning will be running.  You may want to have a sweater with you.

Fall Clothing enters stores.

Fall

September 21 to December 20

The temperature range is from +20 °C to -9 °C.

Read more on Fall weather

September is almost as warm as the summer but October through to December can often require winter clothing.  

During this season the air conditioning is turned off and the heat is turned on.  This can result in temperature in and between buildings being different.  Dressing in layers is a good way to adapt to the changing temperatures.

Buy high-quality winter coats with hoods, long pants, sweaters and waterproof boots or shoes for you and your family (if applicable).

Winter clothing enters stores.

Winter

December 21 to March 20

The temperature range is +3 °C to -25 °C.

Read more on Winter weather

Snow falls and stays on the ground most of the time. January and February are the coldest months of the year and can be bitterly cold.   It can be so cold outside that it is dangerous to go out with any skin exposed.   Get thermal underwear tops and bottoms and wool socks for you and your family (if applicable).   Windproof hats, thick mittens, scarves and warm, waterproof boots are essential.  

Some rooms in building may be hot while others are cooler, due to the heating systems.  It is a good idea to wear layers, that way you can remove a layer if you are hot and add it back when you get cold.

Consider attending our “Learning to Love Winter” session to learn more, held in early October, and repeated in January for Winter arrivals. Check our Events Calendar for upcoming sessions. Spring Clothing enters stores.

*The dates of each season are according to the calendar. Unseasonably warm or cold weather is always possible. It is important to be prepared.

Before deciding what to wear for the day, you should find out what the weather forecast is.  The forecast for the day is available online through Environment Canada or the Weather Network and broadcast of local radio and television.  The weather report gives the temperature in degrees Celsius and information on the amount of rain, snow and sun that we will have.

It is always better to dress in layers of clothing.   Then you can take one or two layers off if you get too hot during the day. It is especially important, if you have children, that they are warmly dressed for school as part of the day is spent outdoors.

If you are not used to northern climates, talk to the staff at QUIC about other ways to prepare yourself so that it is not such a shock. Despite the cold, there are a lot of fun activities you can do in the winter if you are warmly dressed. Queen’s University International Centre plans activities to help you and your family discover and enjoy winter, such as skating.

When to do the Clocks change?

Ontario observes Day Light Savings Time. This means that two times during the year the clocks “springing” ahead or “falling” back.

Clocks “spring” ahead an hour in early March and “fall” back an hour in early November. The exact date changes each year.

It’s important to remember to change your clocks.

When will it snow?

Each year we receive our first snowfall at different times, sometimes it snows in mid-October and sometimes it doesn’t snow until mid-December.

Regardless of when it first snows, you need to be sure that you are prepared with the proper clothing. Waiting for it to snow may be too late, as our stores carry clothing a season in advance, and selection of winter clothing may be limited in January/February.

Do I need a winter coat and winter boots?

Yes, you need to have a winter coat and winter boots even if you are just going from your home to the bus to another building. Queen’s is a large campus and you may have to walk outside for 5 – 10 minutes to get to your next class. Also, if for some reason the bus breaks down you may have to wait outside for the next bus to come.

What is Windchill and Humidex?

Both Windchill and Humidex will be shown in the “Feels Like” temperature on weather forecasts online and in apps .

Our bodies insulate us somewhat from the outside temperature by warming up a thin layer of air close to our skin, known as the boundary layer. When the wind blows, it takes this protective layer away, exposing our skin to the outside air. It takes energy for our bodies to warm up a new layer and, if each layer keeps getting blown away, our skin temperature will drop and we will feel colder.

It describes how hot, humid weather feels to the average person. The Humidex combines the temperature and humidity into one number to reflect the perceived temperature.