Climate & Wildlife of the Thompson-Nicola Region


The southern portion of the Thompson-Nicola Region has a semi-desert climate, with barren hillsides, and often experiences the hottest summer conditions anywhere in Canada.

Semi-arid desert-like terrain, rolling grasslands and deep forests with white water rivers are examples of the TNRD's varied terrain. Ponderosa pine trees – some mixed with deciduous trees, sagebrush and cacti, and bunch grasses are foliage typical of this region.

Semi-Arid Desert, Kamloops-Ashcroft areas

Grasslands, Quilchena and Douglas Lake areas

The northern portion northern section receives more snowfall and rainfall than further south, and has an all-around cooler climate but with dry summers. 

The Monashee and Cariboo range is in the north-east, which has alpine glaciers below its summits.

Thick Forests & Mountainous Terrain, Clearwater area


Thompson-Nicola Region is home to big cats such as cougars, birds of prey such as bald eagles, falcons and owls, large black and cinnamon bears, canines such as coyotes and wolves, small animals such as badgers, beaver, marmots, porcupines and many, many others. 

You're likely to see California Big Horn Sheep (especially in Kamloops and Spences Bridge), mountain goats, deer, moose, horses - wild and on ranches, and literally tons and tons of cattle and, of course, their owner's dogs.

For information about the wildlife in the Thompson-Nicola Region, contact the BC Wildlife Park (Kamloops)The Kamloops Naturalist Club and The Nature Conservancy (search Kamloops).

Here's lookin' at you kid!

The Climate Statistics of the Thompson-Nicola Region 

The Thompson-Nicola region is situated in the Interior Plateau and experiences a dry and more continental climate because the Coastal Mountains act as a barrier to the westerly flow of moist air. Our summers are typically warm and dry, and so are our winters, making working outdoors comfortable regardless of season.

The Thompson valley experiences BC's hottest summers, with temperatures often in the 30°s C (86°-102°F), and occasionally rising above 40°C (104°F). Kamloops averages 28°C (82°F) in July and -1°C (30°F) in January with just 279 mm (11 inches) of annual precipitation. Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Lytton tend to be hotter and drier, and Lytton is branded "Canada's Hot Spot".

The Nicola valley, being directly east of the Coastal Mountains, is also warm and dry, and experiences little snow in the winter, especially in the grasslands. However, winds may cause snow drifts. In the summer, it's lovely, and warm and dry with gentle breezes.

The following information was accessed through Environment Canada at:

Climate Charts [pdf]