Ottawa, located far from either North American coast, is a continental city of extreme weather. By annual average temperature, it is the seventh coldest capital in the world, beating out all but a few Scandinavian countries. Snow generally falls here at a rate of 93in (235cm) per year from late November to early April. However, the city has been known to be snow-free well into December in some years. Ice storms and wind chills are also quite common; when wind chill is factored into account, the city sees almost two months of temperatures under -20°C.

By contrast, the short summers in the capital are very warm and humid, with temperatures often above 85°F (29°C). The transition seasons of spring and fall are unpredictable; days in the months of April and October have been known to have snowfall or go above 30°C. It is probably a good idea to visit in these ‘shoulder’ months and just hope for the best

The city sees a fair amount of rain—37 inches or 940 millimeters a year, and gets a fair amount of sunshine (about half the total time possible).

Ottawa is also prone to other severe weather; though they are rare, tornadoes, flash floods, heat waves, hail and hurricane remnants have been known to hit the city.