Unpredictable may be the most accurate word to describe Newfoundland and Labrador’s weather. Newfoundland has a humid continental climate with snowy winters and fairly cool summers as no part of the island lies any further than 62 miles from the ocean. Labrador, on the other hand, has a sub arctic climate in its southern part and a polar tundra climate in its northern areas.
Newfoundland and Labrador also experiences the strongest winds and largest annual snowfalls of any Canadian province. The province’s annual sunshine hours are below Canada’s average, and fog and freezing rain are common weather conditions, especially in spring. Newfoundland’s west coast tends to have warmer sea temperatures than the island’s east coast.
St. John’s is Canada’s snowiest, foggiest, windiest, wettest, and cloudiest major city. However, it also enjoys Canada’s mildest winters west of Vancouver and Victoria. The city’s frequent snowfalls rarely last long and average daytime summer temperatures are a comfortable 68°F.
Best Time to Visit Newfoundland and Labrador
Summer is, without a doubt, Newfoundland and Labrador’s busiest tourist season. The province’s weather is at its warmest and even Labrador’s normally cool temperatures can soar up to 77°F during its short summers. Even though Newfoundland and Labrador’s already costly airfare, fuel, and hotel prices soar even higher in summer, most visitors consider the pleasant weather and large variety of summer activities worth the extra dollars.
Spring is often accompanied by some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most volatile weather. This is the season when the province is most prone to fog, freezing rain, and the occasional ice storm. However, spring is also the province’s prime iceberg and whale watching season, so visitors who dress warmly and protect themselves against sudden downpours will be rewarded by some of the area’s most unusual sights.
Autumn brings crisper weather and colorful foliage to Newfoundland and Labrador’s campgrounds, golf courses, and forests. Autumn is also the province’s prime hunting season, while Atlantic Canada’s most outstanding skiing is Newfoundland and Labrador’s main winter attraction.