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PRISM Climatology and Monthly Timeseries

The High-Resolution PRISM Climatology page provides access to gridded, 30 arc-second (roughly 800 metre) temperature and precipitation climatologies for the 1971-2000, 1981-2010 and 1991-2020 climate normal periods for land-surface areas of British Columbia. The gridded climatologies were derived from station data interpolated using the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM). The user interface to the portal features an interactive map of the province that allows users to zoom, pan and select their region of interest using a rectangular selection tool. See below for a brief description, acknowledgements, notes on how to cite this product, the terms of use and references. The maps that can be accessed via the link below provide climatological averages of monthly and annual mean daily minimum and maximum temperature together with climatological averages of monthly and annual total precipitation.


British Columbia has very large spatial variability in its climate, owing to its topography, mixture of coastal and continental influences and large latitudinal extent. Station-based climatologies are useful for describing conditions in a specific area, but the detailed spatial patterns of climate cannot be directly described using stations alone. To calculate the climatology of the province at a high spatial resolution, an interpolation procedure that accounts for the effects of topography is needed, for which thePRISM climate group at Oregon State University(OSU) has developed PRISM (Daly et al., 2008).  

PRISM has been tested and verified throughout the United States and has been applied in numerous countries across the globe including western Canada previously for the 1961-1990 normal period. PCIC has worked in partnership with OSU since 2011 to apply PRISM to observational data in BC. 

The climate maps presented here are based on information from thousands of temperature and precipitation observation sites in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The temperature climatologies were supplemented by upper atmosphere temperature climatologies derived from the National Center for Environmental Prediction’s North American Regional Reanalysis (Mesinger et al., 2006; emc.ncep.noaa.gov/mmb/rreanl/).


The 1981-2010 and 1991-2020 maps benefit from observations gathered outside of BC. For example, substantial data contributions were made by Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation (AGI) for both the 1981-2010 and 1991-2020 maps. AGI maintains and quality controls data collected by the province of Alberta and also applies additional quality control to the data collected by Environment Canada in Alberta. These data were critical for defining the climate near the BC/Alberta border.

We would also like to gratefully acknowledge financial support and reviewer expertise from The Bonneville Power Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northwest River Forecast Center, which helped to enable the production and ensure the quality of the maps for both the 1981-2010 and 1991-2020 climate normals periods.

PCIC is grateful for the assistance of the PRISM Climate Group, who have continued to selflessly provide advice when it was needed, and from all of PCIC’s contributors.

Finally, the production of these maps would have been impossible without the continuing support of the BC Government Climate Related Monitoring Program which is facilitated by an agreement that allows observing network operators in BC to collaborate in network operation and data sharing, and provides PCIC with a mandate to provide access to the shared data via PCIC’s BC Station Data Portal.

Data Citation

When referring to the High Resolution Climatology data produced at PCIC, either retrieved from the website or found otherwise, the source must be clearly stated:

Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, and PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, (2014, 2024). High Resolution Climatology. Downloaded from <Permalink> on <Date>.

Terms of Use 

In addition to PCIC's terms of use, the climatologies are subject to the terms of use of the PRISM Climate Group: 


This data product is provided by the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium with an open license on an “AS IS” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied, as to its accuracy or completeness. Any reliance you place upon the information contained here is your sole responsibility and strictly at your own risk. In no event will the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising from reliance upon the data or derived information.


Daly, C., M. Halbleib, J.I. Smith, W.P. Gibson, M.K. Doggett, G.H. Taylor, J. Curtis and P.P. Pasteris, 2008: Physiographically sensitive mapping of climatological temperature and precipitation across the coterminous United StatesInternational Journal of Climatology28, 15, 2031-2064, doi: 10.1002/joc.1688.

Mesinger, F., et al., 2006: North American Regional ReanalysisBulletin of the American Meteorological Society87, 343-360, doi:10.1175/BAMS-87-3-343.