The Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region is influenced by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its many mountains.
Greater Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, protected by Vancouver Island, have considerably less precipitation and more sunshine compared to BC's other coastal areas.
As you can see from the charts, precipitation, as well as high and low temperatures, can vary considerably within Vancouver, Coast & Mountains. These two charts are most indicative of the weather within the region. Vancouver is situated on the south coast; Whistler is located within the region’s mountains.
While this region can be damp during autumn and winter, it won't be excessively cold or snowy. However, its steep mountains – even those just a 20-minute drive from Vancouver – receive enormous snowfalls during the winter, creating superb conditions for winter sports. Down at sea level, golf is always in season – thanks to the mild climate, many of the south coast's championship courses are open for play all year round. This temperate weather allows for an active, outdoors-oriented lifestyle, is a major reason that Vancouver has been nicknamed "Lotus Land."
This region's average daily temperatures range from 11-15 ºC; daytime highs are similar for inland communities such as Whistler, but evening temperatures tend to dip lower than those of coastal communities. Hiking season in mountains above 1,110 m usually doesn't begin until July, as routes can be snow-covered or muddy until then.
Summer in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains is pleasantly warm. In Vancouver, July and August temperatures typically reach 22 ºC, but can easily climb to near 30 ºC. Coastal communities usually find relief on the hotter days thanks to ocean breezes. Inland communities such as Whistler experience slightly warmer daytime and slightly cooler evening temperatures. These are ideal weather conditions for pursuing outdoor adventures such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and camping.
Mild conditions prevail throughout autumn in this region with average daily temperatures in Vancouver ranging from 6-12 ºC. By late October, daily lows at Whistler dip below freezing. November is the wettest month in both Vancouver and Whistler. Most of the region's ski mountains receive their first dusting of snow around this time.
Greater Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast enjoy a temperate climate during these months. If snow falls, it doesn't stick around long. Average daily temperatures in January range from 3-7 ºC. This is also the wettest time of year. Wrap up warmly if you're headed to Whistler as average daily temperatures in Whistler Village range from -6 to 0 ºC. On the summits of Whistler or Blackcomb mountains, the temperature (combined with wind chill) will typically be colder.
What to Wear
No matter what season, it's advisable to bring wet-weather gear that includes hiking or rubber boots.
Summer temperatures are warm enough for t-shirts and shorts, although pants and sweaters are useful for the evenings, particularly at higher elevations. Much of this region sits by an ocean – pack your bathing suit and beach shoes for wading near rocky shores. A wind jacket will also come in handy.
In winter, a raincoat or medium-weight waterproof jacket is a must, preferably worn over a jacket and/or sweater, warm pants and accompanied by an umbrella. Jackets and vests made from micro-fleece and light-weight down are a popular choice for many of the locals during this season.
If you're venturing into the mountains, pack wind-and-water-resistant winter wear, including a warm coat or jacket, gloves or mittens, a scarf and hat.