Yellowknife broke three single-day heat records in four days last week during what Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is calling an unseasonably warm summer for both the territory and the country.
Aug. 16, 18 and 19 were the hottest on record, which, for Yellowknife, dates back to 1942.
Aug. 16 reached 27.4 C; Aug. 18 spiked to 28.9 C; while Aug. 19 climbed to 25.9 C. The previous records for these dates were set in 1999, 1991, and 1988, respectively.
“It doesn’t always mean anything to break records, but it certainly has been a very hot summer and an impactful summer on the NWT,” says Sara Hoffman, a service meteorologist with ECCC.
“The entirety of Canada has had a warmer than normal summer. And the North in particular has had, especially the last 10 days or so, a pronounced warm anomaly over it. So it extends from Great Slave Lake all the way to the Kivalliq coast of Nunavut.”
Hoffman says thanks to this warm anomaly, daytime temperatures in the region have been 10 to 12 C warmer than usual.
These warmer-than average temperatures have contributed significantly to the explosion of wildfires this season. Last week, NWT Fire forecasted the territory would see more than double the five-year average number of fires before the end of the season.