Canada's most unsuspecting hot spot uncovered

·2 min read
Canada's most unsuspecting hot spot uncovered
Canada's most unsuspecting hot spot uncovered

It's Sept. 22, and we've plowed through a few weeks of meteorological fall. Of all the locations in the country to observe Canada's warmest temperature, Labrador doesn't intuitively pop into one's head.

It's as warm as it can get for late September in Labrador this week. Only one other day has been this warm this late in the year: Sept. 23, 1961, when it reached 27.8°C in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. We’ll await the final numbers, but the temperature got perilously close to this record on Tuesday.

Goose Bay, Labrador
Goose Bay, Labrador

Naturally, things get weird in fall -- the jet stream becomes more wavy and amplified as the temperature contrast builds across the northern latitudes. There’s also a strong ridge of high-pressure southwest of Atlantic Canada, reinforcing the pattern:

unnamed (2)
unnamed (2)

But it was only 20°C in Labrador City? How can two communities under the same air mass have temperatures vary by over 7°C?

That's where the magic of downsloping winds comes into play.

An unsaturated parcel of air will warm at 9.8°C per kilometre while descending; consequently, pushing the temperature over 26°C by the time this air arrives at the Atlantic Ocean. Sure enough, Labrador is almost 600 metres above sea level, while HV-GB is near sea level. The local atmosphere was dry in HV-GB, with a dew point of just around 4°C at supper time.

We'll squeeze out another day of anomalous warmth across eastern Labrador -- another reading or two above 25°C would hardly be surprising. It's probable that Canada's hot spot shifts into Saskatchewan for Wednesday. A ridge of high pressure threatens to push temperatures well into the mid-20s across the southern tier of the province.

PRWEDTEMP
PRWEDTEMP
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