Similarly to New England and Central Europe, Nova Scotia has four seasons. The main difference is the winter. Compared to New England there is less snow and compared to Central Europe more snow in winters. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf stream winters are pretty mild.
The climate in Nova Scotia is very much influenced by the Gulf stream. There is the saying among locals, “If you don’t like the weather in Nova Scotia, wait five minutes.” It actually hardly ever rains or snows for longer than a few hours. On the other hand, there can be heavy rain and snow falls. Long bad weather periods as we have them in Central Europe are very rare. The weather can change several times during a day what is quite pleasant. What we have experienced were snow storms and hurricanes that lasted between 24 and 36 hours, but this happens very, very seldom.
In March is Maple Syrup season in Nova Scotia when the sap of the maple trees is being harvested. At that time the province often is still dormant under a pile of snow. Spring usually begins in April with intensive thawing what transform the land into a huge swamp. At the same time the lakes begin to „sing“. The wind gets under the thawing ice and creates the most amazing sounds you can imagine. Spring as we know it in Central Europe or in the United States happens in May.
In the month of May the temperatures rise very quickly and within a very few weeks you have summer-like temperatures. This is the wake-up call for the black flies. Since spring is relatively short, the garden enthusiasts will have to plant their produce under glass in March and April so that you can plant them out in early May. As soon as there is no more danger of frost, all seedlings have to move outdoors as quickly as possible.
Summer in Nova Scotia brings us very nice temperatures of 20-25° Celsius what makes summers very nice. Because of the many forests, the lakes and the nearby ocean the air is always enriched with lots of ozone that literally energize the body. When the sun shines, the forests smell heavily of the sugar of the maple trees and the balsam firs. The weather during the summer is mostly sunny interrupted by a few short but strong thunder storms and rain falls. Because of the ocean there is always a nice breeze, even during the hot phases. During the summer we have to be careful with open fires in the Forest Hill Retreat and therefore we depend on responsible inhabitants.
The most beautiful time of the year is autumn when the leaves turn read and orange and Indian Summer transforms the country in a beauty we can hardly get enough of. Most of the time Indian Summer begins in the second half of September and lasts until mid October. In October the temperatures sink and the air is crisp and clear. Only a few weeks later, in November the Christmas tree season begins in Nova Scotia and once again the air is filled with the rich and sweet odor of the balsam firs. This lasts until mid December.
Thanks to the Gulf stream the winters are mild with average temperatures of 0° to -10° Celsius what often brings snow-free winters. Thanks to the minus-temperatures you won’t experience mud during the winters in Nova Scotia, compared to Central Europe. And when there is snow, the whole province turns into a proverbial winter wonderland within only a few hours. Nonetheless we have experienced winter nights where the temperatures dropped to -35° Celsius. Therefore, if you want to live at Forest Hill all year, you will need a well insulated house.
Nowhere we have experienced more beautiful winters than in Nova Scotia. The lakes and the ocean are frozen and build a contrast to the dark blue sky. And if you can find some larch trees with their orange needles a beautiful picture is certain. Even snow-shovelling is easier in Nova Scotia because the snow is light and fluffy.
What Temperatures can you expect in Nova Scotia?
Spring in Nova Scotia
- Mid March to late April: 0 to 10 degrees Celsius (32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Late April to mid June: 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
Summer in Nova Scotia
- Mid June to mid September: 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fall in Nova Scotia
- Mid September to mid November: 10 – 20 degrees Celsius range (50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Mid November to mid December: 0 to 10 degrees Celsius range (30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit)
Winter in Nova Scotia
- Mid December to mid March: 0 to -15 degrees Celsius (0 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit)
We hope that the information was helpful and that we could give you a better idea of the life in Guysborough County and Forest Hill throughout a whole year.
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See you in Forest Hill!