Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Climate Change September 12, 2012 - 1:01 pm

Kuujjuaq sees record-breaking average temps during the summer of 2012

Maximum daily highs and lows broke the previous records from 2008

JANE GEORGE
Many in Kuujjuaq say they've never seen a more lush growth of grass and shrubs in town. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Many in Kuujjuaq say they've never seen a more lush growth of grass and shrubs in town. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

KUUJJUAQ — Although it’s mid-September in this Arctic Quebec community, you’re likely to hear the sound of weed-whackers in Kuujjuaq or smell the fragrance of newly cut grass around town.

On Sept. 12 temperatures were predicted to reach 18 C.

That’s in line with the community’s record-breaking average temperatures from June through the end of August.

Druing these three months, the maximum average daily high temperature was 18.7 C, higher than the previous record of average daily high of 18.5 C from 2008, said Environment Canada’s René Héroux.

For the same period, Environment Canada recorded a minimum average daily low temperature of 7.7 C.

“Again, it beats the previous record of 7 C in 2008,” said Héroux. “We see that for Kuujjuaq it was an exceptional summer — that is, hot.”

In Kuujjuaq, people say the higher temperatures meant there were fewer mosquitoes, a welcome development for many.

Further to the south in Quebec, it was also hot, Héroux said.

That’s because the jet stream circulated further north than is usually the case. That led to warmer temperatures in most regions of Quebec, he said.

“This was consistent with the theory of climate change. It does not mean that every summer will be like that, but it will become a little more frequent,” Héroux said.

In Kuujjuaraapik, on Nunavik’s Hudson Bay coast, summer temperatures were also warm but broke no records.

But the nighttime low was 7.2 C, about two degrees above normal, Héroux said.

That’s due to the fact that the waters of Hudson Bay have also warmed up — “a sign of climate change,” the meteorologist said.

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