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Average Weather in Ottawa Canada

In Ottawa, the summers are long, warm, and partly cloudy and the winters are freezing, snowy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 7°F to 80°F and is rarely below -11°F or above 88°F.

The warm season lasts for 3.9 months, from May 21 to September 18, with an average daily high temperature above 68°F. The hottest day of the year is July 20, with an average high of 80°F and low of 62°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.3 months, from December 2 to March 12, with an average daily high temperature below 34°F. The coldest day of the year is January 29, with an average low of 7°F and high of 22°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature in OttawaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMcoldcoolfrigidchillywarmfreezingcomfortable
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: frigid < 15°F < freezing < 32°F < chilly < 45°F < cold < 55°F < cool < 65°F < comfortable < 75°F < warm < 85°F < hot < 95°F < sweltering. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Clouds

In Ottawa, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year in Ottawa begins around May 24 and lasts for 5.1 months, ending around October 27. On August 8, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 64% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 36% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around October 27 and lasts for 6.9 months, ending around May 24. On January 5, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 70% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 30% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories in OttawaclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Aug 864%Aug 864%Jan 530%Jan 530%May 2447%May 2447%Oct 2746%Oct 2746%clearovercastmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudy
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Ottawa varies throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 8.1 months, from April 10 to December 13, with a greater than 29% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 38% on July 3.

The drier season lasts 3.9 months, from December 13 to April 10. The smallest chance of a wet day is 20% on January 29.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Ottawa changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 8.7 months, from March 13 to December 4. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 38% on July 3.

Snow alone is the most common for 3.3 months, from December 4 to March 13. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 16% on December 26.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation in OttawasnowrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jul 338%Jul 338%Jan 2920%Jan 2920%Mar 1323%Mar 1323%Dec 427%Dec 427%rainsnowmixed
The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Ottawa experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

Rain falls throughout the year in Ottawa. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 25, with an average total accumulation of 3.0 inches.

The least rain falls around February 6, with an average total accumulation of 0.5 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Ottawa experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 5.9 months, from October 27 to April 24, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 24, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 1.3 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 6.1 months, from April 24 to October 27. The least snow falls around July 26, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall in OttawasnowsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 in3.0 inDec 241.3 inDec 241.3 inJul 260.0 inJul 260.0 inFeb 211.1 inFeb 211.1 inOct 270.1 inOct 270.1 inApr 240.1 inApr 240.1 in
The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.

Sun

The length of the day in Ottawa varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 43 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 21, with 15 hours, 40 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The earliest sunrise is at 5:13 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 33 minutes later at 7:46 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:19 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 36 minutes later at 8:55 PM on June 26.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Ottawa during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in OttawaJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 155:13 AMJun 155:13 AM8:55 PMJun 268:55 PMJun 26Dec 104:19 PMDec 104:19 PM7:46 AMNov 47:46 AMNov 4Mar 12DSTMar 12DSTDSTNov 5DSTNov 5daynightnightnightnight
The solar day over the course of the year 2017. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

Ottawa experiences some seasonal variation in the perceived humidity.

The muggier period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from June 6 to September 16, during which time the comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable at least 5% of the time. The muggiest day of the year is July 20, with muggy conditions 20% of the time.

The least muggy day of the year is December 3, when muggy conditions are essentially unheard of.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels in OttawamuggyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Dec 30%Dec 30%Jul 2020%Jul 2020%Jun 65%Jun 65%Sep 165%Sep 165%muggymuggydrydryhumidhumidcomfortablecomfortableoppressiveoppressive
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Ottawa experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 4.5 months, from December 10 to April 25, with average wind speeds of more than 3.0 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is February 19, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.0 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 7.5 months, from April 25 to December 10. The calmest day of the year is July 31, with an average hourly wind speed of 2.0 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed in OttawawindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 mph0.5 mph1.0 mph1.5 mph2.0 mph2.5 mph3.0 mph3.5 mph4.0 mph4.5 mph5.0 mph5.5 mph6.0 mphFeb 194.0 mphFeb 194.0 mphJul 312.0 mphJul 312.0 mphDec 103.0 mphDec 103.0 mphApr 253.0 mphApr 253.0 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Ottawa varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the north for 1.2 months, from March 14 to April 19, with a peak percentage of 32% on March 16. The wind is most often from the west for 4.0 months, from April 19 to August 19 and for 5.2 months, from October 7 to March 14, with a peak percentage of 42% on July 8. The wind is most often from the south for 1.6 months, from August 19 to October 7, with a peak percentage of 34% on September 18.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction in OttawaWNWSWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%northeastwestsouth
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from May 5 to August 22, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 5.6 kWh. The brightest day of the year is June 30, with an average of 6.7 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from October 27 to February 12, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.3 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 17, with an average of 1.2 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Ottawa are 45.411 deg latitude, -75.698 deg longitude, and 217 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Ottawa contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 131 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 209 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (1,050 feet). Within 50 miles also contains very significant variations in elevation (1,903 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Ottawa is covered by artificial surfaces (89%), within 10 miles by trees (40%) and artificial surfaces (30%), and within 50 miles by trees (65%) and cropland (20%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Ottawa, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Ottawa.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Ottawa according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Ottawa is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Ottawa and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (89%, 10 kilometers, south); High Falls , Que. (10%, 47 kilometers, north); and Bancroft Automatic Weather Reporting System (1.4%, 174 kilometers, west).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.