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area weather

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Hampton, NH
Level Contributor
7 posts
2 reviews
area weather

I'm traveling from New England next month and wondering about weather and trafic, Does it snow there or rain? is there a good time or a bad time to drive to Vancouver, BC?

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
2,375 posts
46 reviews
1. Re: area weather

Expect rain. Snow would be extremely rare in March. But rain is almost assured. It can sometimes be cooler and have wet slushy snow in Vancouver if there is a pool of cold air east of the mountains and being drawn down the Fraser river gap. But along I-5 it is too low elevation for more than just wet roads.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
54 posts
70 reviews
2. Re: area weather

You have two considerations for "bad times." One is Vancouver traffic and the other is the border. You'll hit rush hour in Vancouver anywhere from 7-9 a.m. (mostly going into town) and 4-6 p.m coming out but the traffic can be bad anytime during the day. You might want to leave early from Bellingham to hit the border early and then stop in White Rock for breakfast while the traffic clears into town. Ditto for evening. Extend your day. The traffic over the border going south should be lighter after about 7.


Washington - the...
Level Contributor
333 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: area weather

I usually check the border wait times before I head up, just to know what to expect. apps.cbp.gov/bwt/

It might be soggy when you are here, but we've actually had a mild winter this year. The bigger issue is the wind - it can kick up quite hard so be prepared (hold onto your hat). Double check with your car rental company - not all of them allow you to take the car across the border.

Fox Island...
Level Contributor
610 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: area weather

I don't know where you live in WA Auntie Em but I have lived here 30 years and I would not call this a mild winter. February has been wonderful but up until then it's been about as miserable as possible. The winter of 06/07 was lousy, summer was cloudy, fall was wet, this winter (until Feb) was lousy. Maybe I should move to your area! Or maybe I'm overdue for sun time in Arizona! Hampton Girl I hope this great weather continues for your trip. The I-5 from Seattle to Vancouver is a nice level freeway and you will be just fine driving it even if it rains.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
51 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: area weather

I live in Vancouver and cross the border into Bellingham area often (almost weekly). As another poster suggested it's a good idea to check the border wait times online before you leave. From Bellingham there are TWO border crossings only a mile or two apart - Peace Arch which is on the I5, and the truck crossing on Pacific Hwy - last or second last exit from I5 before you reach Peace Arch. Exit is labelled "H Street/Truck Customs" I believe. They are about 2 miles apart and generally the wait at Peace Arch is longer. I don't think you'll have to worry too much about the border wait to be honest. Since the American dollar has been losing value, the migration pattern seems to be Southbound in the morning and Northbound in the evening as Canadian shoppers flock to WA for better prices. On average I wait about 10 mins to cross the border there in either direction.

Vancouver climate is very similar to Seattle. I've lived here my entire life and can count on one hand the number of times I've seen snow, slushy or otherwise, in March. I think there's just kind of a perception that because it's in Canada it is way colder than Seattle. They aren't that far apart people! Weather does not respect politial boundaries. That said, it has been a cold winter so anything is possible. In any event, expect rain, and a lot of it.

If you're only headed to Vancouver for a day and you intend to stay right downtown for the most part, budget permitting, consider taking the train in. That way you get to enjoy the scenery as a passenger, border crossing is simpler, and you don't have to deal with the drive or parking downtown. You usually have to pay more for insurance to be able to cross the border with a rental car so you should look into that and factor it into your decision if that's what you will be driving. The rental car company will be able to give you info. Recommend you call the actual location you are renting from, as the national call centers rarely have accurate information on that sort of thing.

Washington - the...
Level Contributor
333 posts
13 reviews
6. Re: area weather

foxisle - I base my "mild" winter assesment on the fact that we didn't lose power at all this year (knock on wood). Last winter we lost power 7 times - twice for up to 32 hrs. so in comparison this has been an easy winter for us. I was also out of town the one time it snowed here so I missed that part. (I'm in Bellingham)

7. Re: area weather

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