Parts of Nunavut to see milder winter with more snow, Environment Canada says
Milder temperatures predicted for eastern Nunavut, some communities to see colder winter
After Nunavut recorded the third-warmest summer in the past 75 years, and a relatively balmy fall, Environment Canada is predicting a milder than normal start to the first half of the winter season for most of the territory.
“When we say ‘warmer than normal’, we are really saying just one or two degrees, but averaged out of 60 days or 90 days, it is quite significant,” said David Phillips, senior climatologist from Environment Canada, in a telephone interview Thursday.
But what about the blizzards that have already hit? Phillips points to warmer-than-normal fall weather as the culprit, as warmer temperatures lead to increases in snowfall.
In the eastern part of Nunavut — Iqaluit and the rest of Baffin Island — and Nunavik, Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures from December to next February will be milder than normal. Normal seasonal temperatures in Iqaluit are highs of -18 degrees and lows of -26 degrees.
Sandwiched between the N.W.T., where temperatures will be colder than normal, the western side of Nunavut in Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet and Arviat will experience temperatures close to normal. Normal seasonal temperatures for Arviat are highs of -22 degrees and lows of -27 degrees.
Historically, Nunavut has registered 130 days below -20 C per year, but in the past two winters, the territory registered 100 days in 2021, and 96 days in 2020.
Overall, Environment Canada predicts that the first half of the winter season will bring with it milder temperatures with more snow, blizzards and blowing snow, and that the second half of will be closer to normal temperatures and less precipitation.
Phillips shared that while 93 per cent of Canadians consult a weather forecast every day, he cautions that weather forecasts are effectively an educated guess.
“Accuracy of the forecast is getting better, but it is one of the biggest challenges that science faces,” he said.