Tourist and Traveler
Information for Ontario
The Climate of Northern Ontario
say right off the top that we do not have climate in Northern
Ontario. We have weather.
Tough, brag about it in your old age
weather. Snow storms that last for days and leave snow behind
measured in feet instead of inches. Thunderstorms that shake the
house. And heat enough in summer to cause you to consider moving
Brian J Bird, in his
book "The Natural Landscapes of Canada: A Study in Regional Earth
Science" published in 1972 says that "Canadians hardly need
convincing that their climate is close to glacial. No people on
earth have a harder winter to complain about, latitude for latitude.
Other nations may have difficulty in visualizing what an ice age
means. Canadians have none, because they live not far from reality."
There are a couple of sound
geographical reasons for this. Because of the southern intrusion of
the cold waters of Hudson and James bays, Boreal and Southern Arctic
environments are found further south in Northern Ontario than
anywhere else on earth. The relatively flat Canadian Shield also
provides few barriers to weather systems sweeping down from the
north. And sweep down they do.
We've read on a geographical site on
the Net that Northern Ontario winters are "extreme enough to be
deadly". We don't know about that! (Okay, there are
30-40 deaths a year in this country attributed to cold, so....
maybe.) But then again we take pride in
our tough weather and in making it all look easy to live with.
What we do agree with is that our weather can be extreme, and at
times changeable. Lots of snow in winter is the norm, and very hot
and sometimes humid summers are normal too. We do have large
temperature ranges. The smallest range is found in Sault Ste. Marie,
which has a spread of only 28 C° between highest and lowest annual
temperatures. At the other end of the scale is Big Trout Lake, which
has a 40.5 C° range.
Our climate ranges from continental
in the southern parts of Northern Ontario to sub artic in the
The average maximum temperatures in
the City of Greater Sudbury are: