British Columbia is a popular destination, both for vacationers and for those looking to make a big move. If you’re interested in visiting or moving to British Columbia, you may be wondering where it rains the least so you can ensure the best possible weather.
Generally, you’ll see the least rain in British Columbia when you visit Kamloops. Penticton and Kelowna also see little rainfall each year, as do the towns of Osoyoos and Vernon in the Okanagan desert.
Below, we’ll discuss more information on where to expect the least rain in British Columbia. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Where Does It Rain the Least in British Columbia?
There are a few places that receive very little rain compared to other parts of British Columbia.
Some of the driest areas in this province include:
Keep reading to see how these places differ from one another, what the average rainfall is in each area, and what they have to offer visitors.
Kamloops, British Columbia is connected to a semi-desert area in the Okanagan region. This area receives approximately 8-9 inches of rain per year.
This south-central city in BC has two rivers that flow through it — the North Thompson River and the Thompson River. Each flows in a different direction.
Kamloops has many rolling valleys and grasslands, perfect for someone who loves hiking and nature. It also has the most golf courses per capita throughout all of Canada.
In addition to golfing, there is a lot to do when you visit Kamloops.
There are over 80 parks and 100 freshwater lakes within an hour of each other, as well as five different breweries.
Penticton is a city in the Okanagan Valley that receives an average yearly rainfall of 8.7 inches.
This area rests close to Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. The summers are hot, while the winters are light and dry.
Penticton is a unique city. It has many rolling vineyards, lakes, beaches, and mountains.
The docile climate makes it a perfect location for anyone.
When you visit Penticton, you can enjoy walking wine tours on Naramata Beach, visit high-quality craft breweries, or even try your hand at rock climbing!
Kelowna is another city within the Okanagan region. It receives approximately 9.5 inches of rain per year.
This city in British Columbia is located in the middle region of the Okanagan Valley, alongside the Okanagan Lake coast. It’s home to lots of lakes and mountains.
Kelowna is a unique city with a lot of sandy beaches to enjoy. You can jet ski on the Okanagan Lake, visit bountiful vineyards, or climb picturesque local mountains.
Osoyoos is a town that lies within the Okanagan Desert. It receives approximately 12 inches of rainfall per year.
Osoyoos is a southern town that lies between Penticton and Omak. It’s Canada’s only desert and is located in the deepest dry belt in the Okanagan region.
This town has the warmest annual temperature in Canada. Osoyoos Lake, Canada’s warmest freshwater lake, is also located here.
There is plenty to do if you choose to visit Osoyoos. You can swim in Osoyoos Lake, visit a winery, or go hiking or climbing.
Vernon is another town located within the northern part of the Okanagan Valley. It receives an average rainfall of 15.7 inches each year.
Vernon is located in Okanagan Lake Country, which lies in the southern part of British Columbia. It is approximately 274 miles northeast of Vancouver.
Four lakes surround the city of Vernon. These include:
- Okanagan Lake
- Kalamalka Lake
- Swan Lake
- Wood Lake
There are plenty of fun and relaxing activities to do in Vernon. These include scenic wine trails, honey farms, local parks, and Splashdown Vernon, an all-ages waterpark.
Why Do These Areas Receive the Least Rain?
The locations mentioned above are located in the rain shadow of the Coast Mountains.
They’re also near the tall mountains within the Okanagan Mountain Range, which absorbs the moisture produced by the storms above the Pacific Ocean.
This leaves little to no moisture for the Okanagan region.
What Areas in British Columbia Get the Most Rain?
Of all the rainy areas in British Columbia, Vancouver Island, particularly the Henderson Lake area, receives the most rainfall. On average, Vancouver Island receives approximately 260 inches per year of rain.
While this is quite a difference from the drier locations mentioned above, there is still a lot to do when visiting Vancouver Island.
For example, you can visit old-growth forests that house trees that have lived for over 800 years.
Kamloops is the driest place in British Columbia, with an average annual rainfall of 8-9 inches of rain.
Kamloops is followed by Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon in and around the Okanagan Valley; and Osoyoos in the Okanagan Desert.
All these areas receive some of the lowest annual rainfall in BC.
These areas receive little rain compared to other areas in British Columbia because of the neighboring mountains and their locations within deep valleys.
This combination strips moisture from the area.