Quebec City has four distinct seasons and can be compared to Montreal, Toronto, or Chicago in terms of climate. Like its big city neighbors, Quebec City is totally transformed as its enveloped by the changing seasons; the city becomes a frigid winter wonderland in December and the cold weather lasts into springtime with the temperature dropping to around 17 degrees F (-8 degrees C), but the dog days of summer can see up highs of 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) and over 16 hours of full sunlight.
Each season comes with its own distinct vibe and set of activities. Whether you’re in search of wintertime festivities or you prefer to kick back with a beer in the beating sun, here’s everything you need to know about the climate in Quebec City.
Fast Climate Facts:
- Hottest Month: July (77 degrees F / 25 degrees C)
- Coldest Month: January (17 degrees F / -8 degrees C)
- Wettest Month: September (4.8 inches)
Spring in Quebec City
As the snow begins to melt and the temperature slowly starts to rise, spring in Quebec City strikes a happy medium between winter wonderland and rain season. More often than not, winter weather will persist well into April, with true spring weather not surfacing until May, when the weather takes a warm turn almost overnight. Spring is sugaring-off season in Quebec, when locals and visitors take advantage of the last bit of chill in the air by heading inside to a cabane à sucre (sugar shack) for a hearty French Canadian meal, complete with fresh maple syrup, folk music, and an overall sense of hygge.
What to pack: Even during spring in Quebec City, you’ll want to pack your warmest winter attire; especially if you’re not used to frigid Canadian winters. If you’re visiting in May, a lighter jacket or raincoat will likely suffice but make sure to pack a scarf, hat, and warm gloves just in case. Throughout the season, we suggest dressing in layers—Quebec is known for chilly mornings and hot afternoons.
Summer in Quebec City
In summer, Quebec City really comes to life—locals officially come out of winter hibernation and the city is buzzing with activity; from festivals to drinks on a streetside terrasse. Quebec City is generally warm and humid, with July being the warmest and sunniest month. Keep in that the city is not immune to heatwaves, which can mean hot weather and afternoon thunderstorms.
What to pack: By the time summer finally rolls around, lighter options like shorts and dresses should suffice, but we still recommend packing a sweater or light jacket if you plan to be out after dark, when temperatures can drop quite dramatically. The days are long and bright in the summer, so be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat if you’re sensitive to the sun’s rays.
Fall in Quebec City
Fall in Quebec City—especially in October when the leaves are bursting with a spectrum of yellows, oranges, and reds—is one of the most beautiful times of year. It also happens to be the perfect temperature for more vigorous outdoor activities like hiking or cycling, with an average temperature of about 52 degrees F (11 degrees C). November, on the other hand, generally brings the first signs of winter, with shorter days and a significant dip in temperature.
What to pack: Because of the unpredictable dips in temperature, plan on packing clothing that can be layered, like long-sleeved shirts, flannel, down-filled vests, and long pants. We also recommend bringing cold weather accessories; a warm scarf, beanie, and light gloves should do the trick. If you’re visiting in November, consider bringing a heavier jacket and insulated boots; late November gets an average of 12.9 inches (32.8 cm) of snow each year.
Winter in Quebec City
While it’s often described as a winter wonderland, there’s really no way around it—winter in Quebec City is long, cold, and dark. Beginning in mid-November and running until the end of March, if you’re planning on traveling to Quebec City in the winter, be prepared for frequent bouts of heavy snow and frigid temperatures; in 2015 the city dropped to a freezing -34 degrees F (-37 degrees C).
What to pack: It may seem excessive, but if you want to enjoy your trip to Quebec City during the winter, you’ll want to pack as if you’re preparing for an Arctic expedition. Start with long-sleeved shirts and sweaters that can be layered, a down-filled vest, and a heavy wool or down jacket. Be sure to pack long johns for layering and warm pants to wear over them. Bring heavy duty work socks that can be layered over smaller socks and insulated boots in case you’re caught in a snowstorm, and of course winter accessories; a scarf that can be wrapped around your face, hat, ear muffs, and insulated gloves should suffice.
|Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours|
|Month||Avg. Temp.||Rainfall||Daylight Hours|
|January||17 F||3.3 inches||9 hours|
|February||23 F||2.8 inches||10 hours|
|March||34 F||3.3 inches||12 hours|
|April||46 F||3.2 inches||13 hours|
|May||63 F||4.3 inches||15 hours|
|June||72 F||4.4 inches||16 hours|
|July||77 F||4.6 inches||15 hours|
|August||75 F||4.4 inches||14 hours|
|September||64 F||4.8 inches||13 hours|
|October||52 F||3.8 inches||11 hours|
|November||37 F||4.0 inches||9 hours|
|December||23 F||4.3 inches||9 hours|