Cape Breton Climate

The climate of Cape Breton Island is cool and wet although it is warmer than most other places in Canada. The average annual temperature is close to 6 degrees Celsius (43°F). Average summer maximum temperature is 25 degrees Celsius (77°F). Temperatures are rarely above 30°C (86°F). Winter minimums are usually around -15°C (5°F) and rarely drop below -20°C (-4°F) although strong winter winds can make it seem much colder.

The weather conditions of the coastal regions on the island are typically cooler and more volatile, whereas the inland areas are generally warmer and more stable. The weather can be unpredictable and as many locals will say, "if you don't like the weather, just wait 20 minutes." Cape Breton's location on both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean means that the region experiences unique maritime weather patterns, characterized by heavy snowfalls, frequent fog patches and temperatures that can change drastically in a short period of time.

Cape Breton's location puts it is on the path of many tropical storms, which can include torrential downpours in the fall and hurricane-force winds. The typical weather pattern in Cape Breton includes cool, snowy winters (especially in the highlands region); mild, wet springs; warm, breezy summers; and wet, blustery autumns.

The Cause of Weather?

Weather is simply the result of uneven heating of the atmosphere and oceans. Areas of higher temperature energy flow towards areas of lower temperature energy to bring about the equalization of temperature. Therefore, weather is created by the movement of air and water which spreads this energy around the globe in an attempt to equalize temperature over the entire planet.  

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