The weather of PEI
Sun & Rain
PEI enjoys a long growing season and ample precipitation spread throughout the year. Both factors contribute to the lush gardens and fantastic crops that you can see across the Island. It’s no wonder more than half of PEI’s land is used for farming. July and August are the driest months and December tends to see the most precipitation, whether rain or snow. Fog makes rare appearances and usually only through the spring. PEI has about 1/3 as many foggy days as Nova Scotia or New Brunswick – that’s downright amazing for a Maritime Province!
See more: The average living cost in PEI
Wind & Water
Prince Edward Island is nestled between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait, where the surrounding waters have a moderating effect on the weather and seasons. Summers are warm though rarely hot and winters are cold but rarely frigid. The surrounding water keeps PEI an average of 5 degrees warmer than neighbouring Maritime Provinces.
It’s not just the water that helps moderate the Island temperature. Hot summer days are punctuated with a gently rounded breeze that offers relief from the heat. Prevailing winds from the south/southwest drift over the Island from across the narrow Northumberland Straight. Even a strong summer wind from these directions is warm.
See more: Prince Edward Island program
Even The Weather Is Diverse
Prince Edward Island’s weather conditions can be unpredictable, sunny and hot one minute and sprinkling rain the next. When packing for a trip to PEI it’s best to plan for a little of everything.
In July, August and early September it’s a safe bet you’ll spend the majority of your days in short sleeves. A light sweater is enough for cooler evenings. Showers and rain do happen, so bring along a water resistant jacket.
If your visit to PEI has you relishing in the fall or spring weather, pack layers for the cool days and chilly nights. You may even enjoy some warm and wonderful days that feel a lot like summer. Later into the fall can be wet so a water resistant jacket is key.
PEI winters have an average temperature of -7 degrees. The Island gets some amazing snow storms that make the whole place look like a Christmas card. On a crisp sunny day when the sky is clear and blue, PEI can feel just like a winter wonderland. A proper winter coat & hat are musts if you plan to enjoy the many outdoor activities available on the Island. With winter hiking trails, snowshoeing, skating, alpine and Nordic skiing and tons of winter events there are plenty of ways to keep your cheeks rosy all through this season.
Prince Edward Island enjoys four distinct seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter.
In spring, the ground and water warms as the sun brings back colour and life to the Island. Summer is the season of heat and growth. It’s also the most popular time of the year for tourism. Fall is a peaceful time with weather slowly transitioning from warm and lush to crisp and colourful as the leaves burst with rich autumn hues.
Spring lingers later because of the ocean’s moderating effect on temperature. The temperature is comfortable. Early spring is cool and temperatures begin to climb through May as the ocean and ground warm from the sun. Through May and June the spring flowers emerge and bright green colour blankets the trees and rolling fields as new leaves and grasses grow. Hot days are rare but do happen.
Summer temperatures average in the low to mid 20s by day, going down to low 20s or high teens at night. Temperatures often reach the high 20s but rarely break 30 degrees. Mid summer can be hot but is rarely humid due to the persistent south/southwesterly breeze and moderating effects of the ocean. Some of the Island’s most exceptional weather happens in late summer and early fall when the ocean is still warm and the summer haze gives way to gorgeous clear days and refreshing nights. It’s also a great time of year for enjoying PEI without the summer crowds – the fairways have elbowroom, and there’s plenty of space for your blanket and chairs at the beach.
Fall on the Island arrives with gradually decreasing temperatures. But as the temperatures go down, the colours come up! Leaves slowly turn from rich green to yellow, red. It all happens quite slowly until one day, the colour peaks and the horizon takes on a brilliant glow of electric colour. Fall temperatures often linger into late November.
Winter on PEI is temperate by comparison to the rest of Canada. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities, almost never so cold that you can’t bundle up and enjoy the day. The air carries a bit of the ocean with it. You can smell the salt spray on the wind!