Cooling predicted by Sunday

Iqaluit sizzles through hottest day on record


Iqaluit residents stripped down to shorts, T-shirts and halter tops this week during a record-smashing heat wave that produced the warmest maximum temperature ever seen in the community.

On Monday, July 21, a temperature of 26.8 C was recorded at the Iqaluit airport, making it the highest temperature reading in Iqaluit since 1946, when record-keeping began.

That beats the previous all-time high of 26.1 C, set July 29, 2003. And it breaks the previous record for that particular day, 22.2 C, set in 1969.

Residents cooled off by heading to Apex Creek to swim in its chilly fast-flowing water or by loading up on ice cream at the Fantasy Palace.

The normal temperature range for July, usually the warmest month in the eastern Arctic, is between 12 C and 4 C.

Brian Proctor, a meteorologist with Environment Canada in Edmonton, said Iqaluit now sits in a "perfect position" to receive constant streams of warm air pushed down over south Baffin by a large high pressure ridge sitting over Ontario and Quebec.

In the summer these warm "down-slope" winds from the north-west get even warmer as they pass over land.

The heat wave started in earnest July 19, when a high of 21.1 was recorded, beating the previous record for that day, 19.5 C, set in 2000.

On July 20, the temperature climbed to 24.6 C early in the evening, breaking the high-temperature record for that day, 21.7, set in 1949.

After Monday's searing heat, the temperature ­settled down to a high of 23.1 C on July 22.

As of the Nunatsiaq News press-time this week, Environment Canada was forecasting hot sunny days until Saturday, with cooler weather, including rain, forecast for Sunday.

Ironically, Mother Nature gave us these record high temperatures just as a major gathering on climate change got underway in Iqaluit at the Frobisher Inn. (See ­stories on the left-hand side of this page, and on page 9.)

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