Québec’s cold and humid climate is due to its nordic and maritime position. With such a huge land mass the province of Québec regions show wide temperature and precipitation variations, with relation to their latitude, relief and maritime influence. Québec has four types of climate.
Humid Continental Climate
Humid Continental climate in the province is located south of 50e N latitude. This climatic region is characterized by a hot and slightly humid summer, sometimes severely cold, and rather long winters. The thermal amplitude (difference between the highs and lows) of this climate is approximately 30°C (68°F). Precipitation is important all year long exceeding 900 mm per year. This zone is dominated by hardwood and mixed stands.
Subarctic climate, between the 50th and 58th parallels, consists of colder, longer winters and shorter, cooler summers. Precipitation is scarce. Annual average temperatures over Chapais and Natashquan nears freezing point. The regions of this climate are covered by taiga, dominated by open softwood forests on a lichen mat.
The extreme northern portion of the territory is subject to the rigours of the Arctic climate characterized by a very cold and dry winter, and a short thaw season. In Kuujjuaq, the mean duration of frost-free period is 115 days per year. Low precipitation observed amounts barely to 530 mm per year. It is the lowest in the province. The Arctic climate corresponds to the areas covered by tundra, a combination of stands of variable density, and tundra, characterized mainly by shrubs and lichens.
East Maritime Climate
East Maritime climate is found at the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. This climate features long but relatively cool winters and short, warm and rainy summers.