Partly Cloudy, Chances of Rain: Vancouver Weather Sucks this Summer!

Is this the worst Vancouver Summer ever?

Credit: Flickr / JohnONolan

Has the summer 2011 weather really been that bad, or does Vancouver just love to complain?

According to many people I’ve met who are not native Vancouverites, the general consensus is that we locals like to complain. It’s considered a civic hobby—like yoga. Complaints often consist of the following: drivers here are awful; traffic is terrible; bike lanes are ruining my commute; it rains too much; the Canucks always choke and so on and so forth.


While most of these complaints are heard year-round, we are usually granted a reprieve two months out of the year, when summer kicks in and our moodiness is vaporized by rays of sunshine. July and August are our salvation from 10 months of gloom and wet socks.


Rain, rain, go away. What happened to the summer sun?

Clouds again? Seems like a fair question when we wake up to yet another grey summer day. (Image: Flickr / mnsc)


By July, Kits beach should have been bursting at the seams with hedonistic narcissists, but not this year; instead, they all found shelter from the rain at local tanning salons. This summer has left many of us wondering what we’ve done to deserve this.


Maybe Mother Nature is angry with us. Or perhaps we’ve been spoiled with unseasonably warm weather the last couple of years and the sobering reality of a normal Vancouver summer has us all acting out like entitled teenagers. But as far as summer weather goes, has this one really been that bad?


Take for instance the week of August 4-10 in 2010: the average high was a balmy 22.7 degrees Celsius. Five years ago, in 2006, the average temperature for the same time period was even higher at 23.9 degrees. The same week in August this year saw average highs of 20.3 degrees. A few degrees may not seem like much, but when it comes to global warming and the amount of clothing I’m wearing out in public, any temperature change is substantial.


A one or two degree drop in ocean temperature can bring about the melting of polar ice caps and potential world devastation—in my world it’s the difference between short shorts and a wool turtleneck.


All rain and no sun make Vancouver a very dull city

The umbrella has become the perfect summer accessory in Vancouver. (Image: Flickr /Qantas Travel Insider)


While the average temperatures in July this year have only dipped about half a degree below normal, the decrease in sunshine was the main cause for concern. On average, Vancouver receives 294.5 hours of sunshine during the month of July. This year we had 264.5. That’s 30 hours of sun that has we’ve missed out on.


Sure, getting only 90% of our usual sunshine doesn’t seem like something to cry about, but when you live in a city where it rains most of the year, every hour is precious. That’s about one hour a day we lost out on in July—think about all the sunset yoga sessions you’ve missed out on.

With the decrease in sunshine and a half degree drop in average temperature this year from last, this summer has seen a decline in good weather, so it seems only fitting that we should embrace our title as complainers. A lack of griping over this year’s summer weather would go against our very nature as Vancouverites.