Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Climate Change September 26, 2016 - 2:29 pm

Nunavut breaks five late September records for high temperatures

Sept. 23 saw a balmy high of 21 C in Kugluktuk

JANE GEORGE
A peregrine falcon soaks up the days Sept. 23 near Cambridge Bay, under record-breaking high temperatures and sunny skies. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
A peregrine falcon soaks up the days Sept. 23 near Cambridge Bay, under record-breaking high temperatures and sunny skies. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

CAMBRIDGE BAY—Parts of Nunavut saw the heat turned on this past week: On Sept. 24, the high of 4.3 C in Alert broke the previous high of .4 C set in 2006. Then on Sept. 25, for the fourth consecutive day, Alert’s new daily record high reached 2.9 C, beating the previous record of 1 C set in 2012.

A total of five high temperature records were also broken Sept. 23 in Nunavut: in Alert, Mould Bay, Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay and Baker Lake.

The Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist, Kirk Torneby, called the warm temperatures a “blip,” but for late September they were also something out of the ordinary, he said, due to a high pressure ridge coming up from the south.

The temperature in Baker Lake reached 14 C on Sept. 23, busting the previous record of 12.6 C set in 1977.

Western Nunavut also basked in above-average—and sometimes record-breaking—temperatures, prompting residents to haul their boats back into the water and fire up the barbecues again.

On Sept. 23, when record-breaking temperatures in Cambridge Bay hovered in the low teens, you could find many peregrine falcons and rough-legged hawks perched on the warmed rocks outside town to catch the sun’s rays.

The high that day of 12.6 C beat the previous 6.5 C record for that day set in 1995.

And that warmth had been preceded by a high of 8 C the previous day, which also surpassed the 7.8 C record that dates to 1995.

Further west in Kugluktuk, the weather was even warmer; Sept. 23 saw temperatures of 21 C, matching the high of 21 C recorded in 1995.

The normal highs for Kugluktuk this time of year are around 3.9 C and just below zero for Cambridge Bay.

The water temperatures around western Nunavut may also be on the rise: pink salmon have now reached the area, according to the Arctic Salmon research project.

A salmon was caught last week at the mouth of the Coppermine River and brought into the Kugluktuk Hunters and Trappers Organization for a gift card reward, worth $50 for a whole salmon or $25 for the head or tail.

Both the Weather Network and Environment Canada say the warmth in much of Nunavut is set to continue.

Late summer weather will linger into fall across much of Canada, the Weather Network said, with near to above normal temperatures are expected to dominate across much of Canada.

And Environment Canada’s weather map also indicates warmer than average temperatures are likely to continue for much of Nunavut, excluding the Baffin area, where temperatures are more likely to be lower than usual.

Cold or warm? This map from Environment Canada gives some indication of what to expect over the next month. (IMAGE COURTESY OF EC)
Cold or warm? This map from Environment Canada gives some indication of what to expect over the next month. (IMAGE COURTESY OF EC)
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