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The sunburnt lands up north: Kugluktuk

23 Mar 2022 | Science Notes

As we near the end of March we are also nearing the end of our search for the places in Canada’s Arctic undergoing the blazing warming shown in those maps the Government of Canada often publishes. Today we bring you Kugluktuk in western Nunavut, whose temperature record goes back to 1931. The January average daytime highs are usually in the mid-minus 20s, but they do bounce around. The highest reading was -12.2C in 1980, followed by -15.9C in 1940. Our data source for this graph ends in 2014 but the unofficial updates show 2017 got to -17.3C, then two years later was back down to -26.1C and has stayed in the mid-minus 20s since. So no luck if it’s tanning weather you’re after.

February:

March:

Post-2014 February looked like January only a bit colder and 2017 didn’t have the jump that January did. As for March post-2014, the average high has been consistently around -21C except 2019, the year January was unusually cold, when March averaged -11C. See the pattern? Yeah, neither do we.

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