The climate of British Columbia varies greatly, influenced by latitude, the province's mountainous topography and distance from the Pacific Ocean. This diversity causes wide variations in average hours of sunshine, rainfall, snow and temperatures, sometimes over remarkably short distances.
For example, the average yearly precipitation in White Rock, a small community just south of Vancouver, is 1,092 millimetres (43 inches). Less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) away in North Vancouver, the North Shore mountains force clouds to rise and release their moisture, producing an annual average of 1,859 millimetres (73 inches). Yet in the Okanagan Valley, annual rainfall drops to 347 millimetres (14 inches) or less.
In summer, temperatures in B.C.'s interior frequently surpass 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit); nearer the coast and in other regions, readings will range from 23 to 28 degrees Celsius (73 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit). In winter, the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria enjoy a temperate climate, and if snow falls, it doesn't stay long. But wrap up warmly if you're heading for Whistler, the interior, or Northern British Columbia. Although temperatures are mild when compared to the rest of Canada, there's a reason these regions are known for their spectacular winter activities.
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