Unlikely Canadian town crushes all-time temperature record

Caroline FloydMeteorologist

This temperature anomaly was off the charts.

Minus four degrees Celsius might not sound like soaring high temperatures to many Canadians, but when your average is closer to minus 20, a few degrees below freezing is more than enough to smash a record.

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In fact, it was so warm approaching the shores of the Arctic Ocean for parts of March that tracking the temperature anomaly broke our scale, as seen in the video above.

Inuvik, well north of the Arctic Circle averaged a daily high temperature of about -4ºC through March, well above its usual March average high of -16.8, and on one afternoon the temperature climbed all the way to 8.7ºC. To give that some perspective, Winnipeg, Man., some 4500 km to the south, averaged -2.9ºC, and recorded a high temperature for the month of 9.2ºC.


While the monthly stat is impressive enough for northern Canada, it may have actually snatched the country-wide title for all-time 'most above normal' spot, previously held by Mistissini, in central Quebec northwest of Saguenay.

A Rex Block off the B.C. coast has been fueling some of the unusual warmth in the past seven days over northern Canada. This kind of atmospheric pattern involves the development of a high pressure centre north of a stagnant area of low pressure; a pattern which temporarily prevents the normal progression of systems west to east across the country. In this case, the block also likely helped to draw warmer air much farther north than usual and led to a long string of dry days with sunny breaks.

While Sunday's high was, again, a few degrees above the freezing mark in Inuvik, more seasonally-appropriate temperatures return this week, with highs in the minus teens and snow back in the forecast.