Weather & Climate
Kingston weather has four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall.
- Winter (Dec. 21 to March 20) is the coldest season of the year. The city is usually covered with snow and ice and the weather can be unpredictable. Winter temperatures average between -12 Celsius (10 Fahrenheit) and 2 Celsius (36 Fahrenheit), but can often drop below -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) especially with the wind chill (see For More Information links below). It's important to be prepared for winter weather and to dress warmly in a winter coat and boots, with a hat, scarf and gloves or mittens.
- Spring (March 20 to June 21) marks the gradual return of warm weather. The snow and ice begin to melt and winter coats and boots are put away, though it is often cold and damp. Spring temperatures average between -6 Celsius (21 Fahrenheit) and 22 Celsius (71 Fahrenheit). The weather can be very rainy in spring so it's best to have a raincoat or an umbrella close by.
- Summer (June 21 to Sept. 21) is the hottest season of the year. Average temperatures range from 13 Celsius (55 Fahrenheit) to 25 Celsius (76 Fahrenheit). Clothing is lighter and sunhats are recommended during the day. Shorts and sandals are typically worn in the summer, but most workplaces require their employees to wear more formal clothing.
- Fall or autumn (Sept. 22 to Dec. 20) marks the return of cooler weather and warmer clothing. Vegetation changes colour and temperatures begin dropping below freezing at night. It's not unusual to see snow in late October or early November. Temperatures during the fall months average between -1 Celsius (42 Fahrenheit) and 20 Celsius (69 Fahrenheit).
Extreme Weather & Road Conditions
Environment Canada provides a seven-day forecast for Kingston that is updated every hour (see the weather box on the side of this page). The forecast includes projected high and low temperatures for each day and warnings of extreme weather conditions such as freezing rain, snow storms and high winds.
Radio and television stations also provide information about local weather conditions and possible school closures. The local school boards also provide information about school bus cancellations related to the weather on their websites.
Kingston's public health department issues public advisories during extreme hot or cold weather.
It's a good idea to check the road conditions before driving in the winter months. Blizzards (large snow storms), freezing rain and black ice can make driving especially hazardous. Sidewalks can also be icy and slippery and dangerous for walking.
Daylight Saving Time
Residents of Ontario turn their clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March to mark the start of Daylight Saving Time. At 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November, clocks are turned back one hour when Standard Time resumes. Canada operates on six time zones and most regions of the country switch from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time. Kingston is in the Eastern Time Zone.
For More Information
Information on Canadian time zones and time changes.
An introduction to Canadian winters, with tips on how to enjoy the snow, winter activities and dressing in cold weather.
The Environment Canada Weather Office provides a seven-day weather forecast for Kingston that includes projected high and low temperatures and extreme weather warnings.
An overview of Ontario’s climate during the spring, summer, fall and winter months with tips on how to dress. Includes information on where to get snow conditions and ski reports.
Information on road conditions all regions of Ontario (Kingston is area 7, Eastern Ontario ) during the winter months. Includes an interactive map with more details, including road closures due to construction.
Kingston’s public health department has programs and services for extreme cold and hot weather conditions. Includes information for schools, child and daycare centres and other vulnerable residents.
Environment Canada information on wind chill and frostbite. Includes explanations on what wind chill is and Canada’s role in developing the wind chill index, how to deal with wind chill, cold weather safety tips, and cold injuries. There is also wind chill value table and estimation chart, as well as an online wind chill calculator.
Information on various types of emergencies — utilities disruption, extreme weather, fire, hazardous materials, human health — how the city is planning for them, how you can plan for them, and a list of who to call in case of emergency. Also includes information on personal and family (household) emergency preparedness, such as evacuation plans, go bags, etc., and a downloadable Get Ready Kingston guide.
The City’s of Kingston’s “Winter Control Plan” outlines how the City responds to winter weather to help people, drivers and emergency vehicles move safely and efficiently around Kingston. Includes a general overview on snow plows and snow plow safety, resident snow and ice removal, and winter parking restrictions.
Environment Canada website with information on Canada’s weather and climate. Includes links to UV and ozone information, marine conditions (including Canada’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts, Artic waters, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River), lighting, the Canadian Ice Service, and the Canadian Hurricane Centre. Also includes links to weather tools: radar, satellite, lighting, air quality, and water interactive online maps and resources. Videos on how to best use the tools are often also available on the site and through Environment Canada’s YouTube channel, as are RSS weather updates and weather radio.
A City of Kingston resource highlighting actions that people can take to help Kingston reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase our climate resilience. Includes suggestions on how to save energy and be more sustainable both at home and the workplace through food, transportation, and energy choices. General information is also included, as are useful tools to help measure energy use and GHG emissions from a variety of everyday sources. This toolkit was developed as part of the community-built Kingston Climate Action Plan.