Fraser Valley Farming Climate
Weather in the Fraser Valley is mild, especially compared to Ontario and the rest of Canada. Thanks to the nearby Pacific Ocean and Coast Mountains, we have warm summers, plenty of precipitation, and winters that rarely dip below zero Celsius – with long periods of little or no frost. In Surrey, for instance, the average summer temperature is 22 °C (72 °F), while the winter average is 5 °C (41 °F).
Fraser Valley rainfall averages:
- Surrey: 152 cm/60 in.
- Chilliwack: 158 cm/62 in.
- Delta: 90 cm/35 in.
- Abbotsford: 148 cm/58 in.
- Langley: 140 cm/55 in.
Environment Canada issues regular weather forecasts for Vancouver (covering weather in Langley, Surrey and Delta), Chilliwack and Abbotsford. It also publishes alerts on storms and other extreme weather events.
For long-term weather forecasts, check the Farmer’s Almanac.
Effects of Climate Change
Climate change is affecting farming regions worldwide. Over the coming years, Fraser Valley weather conditions are expected to follow global trends, with gradually increasing annual temperatures, growing degree-days (heat accumulation), longer frost-free seasons and increased winter and spring precipitation. Scientists also predict more frequent extreme weather events – windstorms, heavy rain, forest fires, hail, droughts and floods – and drier summer conditions for BC’s farming climate. The Province is helping farmers meet these challenges through its Climate Action Initiative.
Additionally, seasons are shifting. This can have a significant impact on production planning. For example, raspberry harvests used to start in early July, however, in the past two years, has ended by mid-June. Rainfall averages should be supplemented with monthly trends.
BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative
The Climate Action Initiative provides resources for farmers to adapt and respond to the challenges of climate change. It also identifies new opportunities presented by the changing growing season. For example: some farmers are taking advantage of warmer, drier conditions to test out different crops, such as wine grapes and fruit trees.
Mitigating Risk - Climate/Infrastructure
Ron and Pam Tamis took over a family beef operation in 2002, starting out with just 11 head of cattle and 1,000 bales of hay. Over the years, they’ve added a pumpkin patch, sweet corn, potatoes, squash, and a variety of other vegetables. The whole family helps out on the farm, including Ron and...