Huge storm blows through Nunavut and Nunavik, bringing record breaking winds

People report power outages and entire structures blown away

A resident of Pangnirtung looks through debris Monday morning left from a cabin that was uprooted and blown away during an intense blizzard Dec. 27. (Photo by Sky Panipak)

By Sarah Rogers

A powerful storm blew through the Nunavik, South Baffin and Kivalliq regions over the weekend, setting wind speed records for parts of the Arctic.

It brought massive snowdrifts, reduced visibility and reports of structural damage in several communities starting Dec. 26 in Nunavik, before moving over Baffin Island and the Kivalliq region on Dec. 29.

Over that period, Environment and Climate Change Canada clocked two new wind gust records in Nunavut: Kimmirut recorded gusts of 120 km/h on Dec. 26, while Pangnirtung registered gusts of 136 km/h the following day.

But residents in that community said they clocked even higher speeds at home with their own wind speed metres — in some cases, as high as 180 km/h.

On Dec. 27, Pangnirtung residents saw stairs being blown off of homes, as well as cabins and sheds uprooted and blown away.

Pangnirtung also registered an all-time high temperature of 4 C on Dec. 27.

The entire community of Salluit lost power for several hours the evening of Dec. 27. Crews in that Nunavik community were still clearing snow from roadways Dec. 29.

The storm isn’t quite finished with Nunavut just yet – it’s still moving north. Environment and Climate Change Canada posted blizzard warnings for Grise Fiord Dec. 30.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Colin on

    Can be some strong winds in southern Baffin, some years worse then others, I’m glad no one was hurt in Pang, 180 clicks is wicked.

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