Weather

Typical Weather on the Charlottes

Expecting to see igloos when you visit Canada? You'll have to look long and hard to find them anywhere on the Queen Charlottes. The climate of the Islands is typical of British Columbia's outer west coast -- cool and wet at virtually any time of year. May, June and July are generally the driest months. The rainy season can begin as early as mid-August. The east side of the islands is considerably drier than the west, which can receive 500-800 cm of rain a year.

Although our islands are home to isolated instances of ice and snow in the winter, it rarely lasts long. The summer actually warms up quite nicely.

Because temperatures can vary greatly at any time of the year on the Queen Charlottes, clothing selection is important when you're visiting. One word of advice: layers. Always dress in layers, whether you're hiking or just walking around town.

Even in the summer, bring a jacket to slip on when the sun slides behind the clouds. If you're planning a strenuous activity, consider dressing in something other than cotton. Clothing that wicks moisture away from the body and has the potential to dry quickly can be a real asset in the Haida Gwaii wilderness.

Average temperatures, and rainy days at Copper Bay Lodge

  • January: 39 degrees, and 15.1 rainy days
  • February: 40 degrees, and 10.4 rainy days
  • March: 41 degrees, and 12.1 rainy days
  • April: 45 degrees, and 9.8 rainy days
  • May: 48 degrees, and 4.7 rainy days
  • June: 53 degrees, 7.6 rainy days
  • July: 57 degrees, 5.1 rainy days
  • August: 60 degrees, 5.8 rainy days
  • September: 55 degrees, 9 rainy days
  • October: 48 degrees, and 14.8 rainy days
  • November: 42 degrees, and 14.8 rainy days
  • December: 41 degrees, 17.3 rainy days

Pack your sunglasses and your watch, because these daylight extremes may throw you off

A common notion about northern Canada and Alaska is that it all goes dark in the winter and has endless sunlight in the summer. That's not quite the case.

Barrow, at the very top of Alaska, has a two-month winter period in which the sun doesn't rise. But that's the extreme, and winter's long nights get shorter the farther south you go. At Copper Bay Lodge, long dawns and dusks can make the daylight seem longer than it actually is.

The moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean ensures that there are no extremes of temperature, summer or winter. Average annual temperature is 46 degrees F.  Northwest and westerly winds prevail in summer and these can blow strongly for a lengthy periods. Storms associated with the passage of a frontal system hammer the Islands from the southeast and southwest. These occur frequently throughout the winter and are not uncommon in the summer months.