What is the real story about Ottawa weather? Do you know of any other city’s temperature that has a range of 80 degrees Celsius? Even though this doesn’t always happen, when you counter in the wind chill in the winter and the humidity in the summer, this is a possibility some years (not all years though).
Ottawa weather can go from one extreme to the other. We have such a diverse weather pattern that changes drastically from one season to the next.
First things first – we must dispel the rumour! Canadians do not all live in Igloos. Perhaps some do way up North but 99% of us don’t. It isn’t that cold all year long! Yes, winter can get very cold but the other three seasons are very pleasant (and even very hot on some days). Actually, winter is lovely too. We sometimes experience a really cold spell for a few days but for the remainder of the winter, there is lots of sun, fresh snow and plenty of time for outdoor activities.
Before we go too much further though let us tell you how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit:
Multiply the Celsius temperature by 9. Divide that by 5. Now add 32.
So, now let’s break the seasons down for you!
We can try to sum it up by saying that it is cold and snowy but that wouldn’t explain it properly. We like to describe it as unpredictable because it is hard to say what a “normal winter” is. It changes from one year to the next. One year it will begin to snow in November and the next year it may not snow until late December. As for the temperature, one January day can be -40 degrees Celsius with the wind but a few days later it can rise to +5 degrees Celsius.
So, your best bet is (if you are visiting in the wintertime) make sure to bring layers of clothing so you are prepared for any type of winter. Don’t forget your hat, mitts/gloves, scarf, jacket & boots!
The spring thaw! The time when the snow melts, the temperatures rise and the flowers start to bloom. The warmer Ottawa weather usually begins in April. You may even see some people out in shorts and a t-shirt shoveling their driveways at the beginning of March. March and April tend to have more rainy days then other months.
Ottawa summers can be very hot and very humid. Temperatures can start at 20 degrees Celsius and go as high as 40 degrees Celsius (when you factor in humidity). The hottest months are July and August. If you are coming at that time of year make sure to bring light clothing, a hat and a lot of sunscreen!
This is our favourite time of year. The temperature in the day is still mild but the evenings get cooler so you will need a light jacket. The temperature in September can be as warm as +20 degrees Celsius or as cool as +5 Celsius.
Hmmm….it sure sounds as though we can’t make a decision on what the Ottawa weather is like in any given season. The reason for that is it is really difficult to make a definite statement about the temperatures because every year is different. To give you an example, we can remember a Canada Day (July 1) that was +42 degrees Celsius with humidity and the year before that it was only +10 degrees Celsius.
It is a very good idea that you check the long range forecasts for Ottawa before you come.
Whatever you do, don’t let the heat or the cold stop you! There are lots of places to go to cool off when it is too hot outside and there are plenty of places to keep you warm and toasty when it is too cold outside!
Today’s temperature in Fahrenheit:
Today’s temperature in Celsius: