Nova Scotia Climate & Weather

The Atlantic ocean's influence on the Nova Scotia climate is heavily modified by the presence of the huge North American Continent, immediately to the west.

Nova Scotia Map (Canada). Source: Environment Canada.

Temperatures would be much cooler in summer, were it not for the predominant westerly flow of warmed up air from the continent! For example, Halifax and Yarmouth mean July temperatures are 18.6C and 16.5C respectively. In comparison, Tofino and Port Hardy, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, have cooler July mean temperatures of 14.4C and 13.9C! What a difference!

For this reason, the climate of Nova Scotia is deemed to be a "modified" Atlantic Climate, or "Maritime Continental".

Halifax Nova Scotia Canada graph of normals. Source of data: Environment Canada.

Mean summer temperatures range from near 20C inland, to 16C along the coast. But, these are means. Daytime temperatures are higher by a few degrees, especially inland.

Yarmouth Nova Scotia Canada graph of normals. Source of data: Environment Canada.

Winters are another story! Winter storms often generate gale force winds, large amounts of snow … or cold rain changing to snow! To top it off, cold polar air usually rushes in from the north, immediately after such storms, to … cool things off!

Under the moderating influence of the Atlantic ocean, mean January temperatures range from -4C to -7C.

The Cape Breton Plateau, on the easternmost tip of NS, rises more than 350 meters above the ocean. Its weather and climate are slightly different from the main NS climate. When the sky is clear, the view is absolutely magnificent! However, The climate and weather of the port of Sydney below resembles the rest of Nova Scotia coastal cities.

Sydney Nova Scotia Canada graph of normals. Source of data: Environment Canada.

Nearly 100 days with fog are recorded yearly along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, more in the summer than in winter. But, the fog often clears by midday, often to be followed by a sunny day.

Total annual precipitation is normally between 1250mm and 1500mm.

Winter snowfall is usually in the 225-250cm range on inland higher elevations, but closer to an average of 175cm elsewhere.

The Nova Scotia climate benefits from the moderating influence of the continent, just west, and the Atlantic waters, just next. A good deal all around!

Stay tuned, and keep a sharp weather watch!

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