The Region
Climate and Weather
Summers are brief, but warm. Winter is the longest season, with abundant snowfall, crisp temperatures and lots of sunshine. Snow begins to fall in late October and stays until April. The first frosts of the fall season usually occur in late September. The winter season can bring heavy snowfall and strong winds from the southwest. The surface of the sea usually freezes in January and can remain frozen until May. Spring season is often the best time of the year for outdoor activities, with long spells of bright sunshine and relatively warm weather.

The average daytime high in early-August, is about 19°C at Forteau and L'Anse au Loup, and 22°C at Port Hope Simpson and Charlottetown. From day-to-day these temperatures can vary considerably. -7°C is an average daytime high in January, with temperatures dropping in the evening to an average low of -18°C. Temperatures will dip as low as -30°C about once or twice during most winters. On a windy day, the wind chill will be considerably lower.
The average annual snowfall is 480cm but this varies from year to year. Often our heaviest snowfalls occur in March. The average depth of snow is 150cm, however, due to drifting, some exposed barren lands will rarely see more than 20 or 30 centimetres of snow, while other areas may well see snow drifts of 12 or more metres high.

The average annual rainfall is 530mm. Early summer is usually the rainiest season, but it can rain any time in Labrador. Fog is a frequent occurrence especially in July and fog banks often enshroud the southern end of Labrador Coastal Drive.
Climatic conditions on Labrador Coastal Drive are strongly influenced by the cold ocean waters of the Labrador Current. The region lies in a climate zone with some of the most changeable weather in Canada. Warm and sunny summer afternoons can quickly be chilled by fog and mist just by a switch in the wind. Winter mornings may start out calm and clear only to see a blizzard by afternoon and then perhaps a soaking rain by night as a major weather system moves up the Atlantic Coast. Bad weather can just as quickly change to good weather - whatever the time of year, rarely does the weather go unchanged for a very long period of time.
Anyone planning a trip to Labrador should be aware of possible changes in weather patterns, as they often affect travel schedules. Southern Labrador is serviced mainly by the Strait of Belle Isle ferry service and the newly opened highway to Goose Bay. Ice conditions can affect Ferry schedules in early spring and high winds can affect schedules especially in late fall. If you do find yourself delayed by weather, you will never be stranded - friendly faces and flexibility can turn a delay into an adventure.

There's a saying in Newfoundland and Labrador, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes!"

The Stormpost weather website provides local weather reports for the Southern Labrador region.


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