August brought heat to Nunavut’s High Arctic
Alert experiences its hottest August since 1950
If you wanted to go somewhere to experience a warmer-than-usual August in Nunavut or Nunavik, then Alert, Resolute Bay, Gjoa Haven, Clyde River and Kuujjuaq would have been excellent choices.
The average temperatures last month for these communities were above normal, by 3.4 C overall for the Canadian Armed Forces Station in Alert, 3 C for Gjoa Haven, 2.6 C for Resolute Bay, 2.6 C for Clyde River and 1.4 C for Kuujjuaq.
At the same time, according to the temperatures shared by Dalhousie University weather watcher Patrick Duplessis, in other communities, such as Rankin Inlet and Kugluktuk, average temperatures were lower than usual last month.
From June to the end of August, those differences held true, as the map of summer anomalies above shows, with Alert and Clyde River seeing overall monthly temperatures that were respectively 2.8 C and 2 C above normal, Duplessis said.
In fact, Clyde River had its warmest summer on record, with data going back to 1946, he said.
August was also a big record-breaker for Alert, which ended July with a record-breaking high of 18.3 C.
Records have been kept there since 1950.
And 2019 brought the warmest August on record to Alert, Duplessis found: the average temperature was 4.3 C, while the normal average for the month is 0.9 C.
As well, there were 61 frost-free days this past summer in Alert. This number beat the 58 frost-free days recorded in 2016 and more than doubled the average of 29 frost-free days in Alert over the years in which records have been kept, Duplessis said.
The month of August in Alert also ended on a high note: on Aug. 30, the temperature of 11.5 C in Alert set a new record high for that date, beating 7.8 C in 1966, while on Aug. 31, the high of 10.8 C in Alert also set a new record high that date, beating the 8.3 C from 1953 and 1963.
Things were also warmer in Resolute, information from Duplessis shows.
On Aug. 15, the low of 5.2 C in Resolute, where records have been kept since 1948, was the warmest on record for that date. The previous record low temperature was 4.7 C in 2016.
And the same held true on Aug. 4, when the low temperature of 7.8 C in Resolute was warmest on record for that date.
The previous record low for that date was 6.6 C, set in 2008.
Kuujjuaq was clearly a hot spot, breaking some records of its own, including a high minimum temperature for Aug. 19 of 14.2 C, beating the 13.9 C set in 1951.
And on Aug. 26, in Kuujjuaq, it was 27.2 C, beating the previous high record temperature of 26.9 C set in 1980.
But things were nippy in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region.
Aug. 4 brought a record low for Arviat of 8.4 C (previously, that was 11 C in 1991) and Rankin Inlet’s 6.8 C beat the previous low of 9.4 C in 1976.
The chill continued into September for Rankin Inlet where the high temperature of 4.5 C tied the coldest recorded, which was on Sept. 1, 1999.