Canada's Far North sizzles under unrivalled heat, sets monthly record
Canada's North was baking on Saturday with temperatures reaching unprecedented levels for mid-May.
A highly anomalous, high-pressure ridge enveloped Western Canada, but some of the extreme heat snuck into the northern territories.
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An extreme example of the extraordinary heat occurred in Arviat, Nvt., along the shores of Hudson Bay. The 21.2°C reading recorded on Saturday is so far above-and-beyond what was previously experienced.
Never before had a 10°C even been recorded there, and that temperature smashed the previous monthly record of 14.5°C set back on May 26, 2001. Temperature records at this station go back to 1973, but there is a gap in the data from 1975-1984, so that's a caveat.
Longer records are more helpful in contextualizing extremes in the climate record. This part of the world is notorious for large temperature swings, but nevertheless, Saturday's daytime high is an exceptional outlier in the climate record.
Temperatures farther west were even warmer, with Yellowknife, N.W.T., reaching a 25°C high -- its earliest instance of a temperature of 25°C on record. The previous earliest instance was the 26.3°C set on May 21, 2015.
The temperature outlook for Northern Canada continues to paint an above-seasonal picture across the N.W.T. and Nunavut, where some communities will likely set their warmest May on record. This is consistent with climate change and the largest warming trends occurring across higher latitudes, resulting in diminishing sea ice and shrinking permafrost.
Thumbnail courtesy of Getty Images (dv842174).