While most of Canada has been experiencing a colder winter, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, in the northern part of the Northwest Territories, have had their warmest February since 2006.
It went up as high as –1 C this past Monday.
“That’s basically the result of what we call a blocking pattern,” said Kyle Fougère, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“That means that the jet stream isn’t moving very much and it’s coming from west of Alaska up and right now Inuvik is staying on the warm side of it.”
Fougère said the combination of the blocking pattern and the jet stream staying in one place is affecting multiple regions in different ways.
“This is what led to the anomalous warmth in the Mackenzie Delta and the anomalous cold across the prairies.”
Fougère said the blocking pattern has been in place for the most of February and the second week of the month in particular was very warm.
Usually the average temperature in Inuvik this time of year is –26.3 C, whereas this year so far it’s
–16.5 C, which is about 10 degrees warmer than normal.
He said it was about five degrees warmer than the average in both December and January as well.
Tuktoyaktuk tends to be colder, but they’ve been seeing an average this month of –19.7 C — about seven degrees warmer than its average of –26.9 C.
However, Dawson City, Yukon, is actually experiencing temperatures two degrees colder than normal and most other communities in the N.W.T. are relatively close to their average, or colder.
Fougère said people shouldn’t get their hopes up that temperatures will continue to rise this winter.
He said the forecast is looking colder for the next few days and “temperatures will trend downwards to more normal temperatures for this time of year by mid-March.”
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: -36 degrees Celsius: just another day in Yellowknife, Northern Canada, CBC News
Finland: Less snow cover, shorter winters in Finland since 1960s, Yle News
Norway: New climate report predicts extreme warming for Arctic Svalbard by 2100, The Independent Barents Observer
United States: 2018 was the 4th-warmest year on record, NOAA and NASA reveal, CBC News