From blizzards to record warmth: Nunavut experiencing weather turmoil

All-time, monthly records were shattered in parts of the Far North, with Nunavut at the nexus of extreme warmth in December.

At the end of November, we saw a blizzard hammer parts of Nunavut with heavy snow and driving winds. That was the second blizzard in a week's time.

On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, several communities in Canada's northernmost territory experienced record-setting warmth for December. In fact, some of the temperatures for December were 15-30 degrees, or even higher, above normal.

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Monthly December records were set in Grise Fiord (5.4°C; a whopping 31°C above average), Arctic Bay (2.3°C), Pond Inlet (1.7°C) and Resolute (-1.3°C). Also of note, but not record-breaking, were the high temperatures in Sanirajak (-0.1°C) and Alert (-3.0°C).


While one region in the country can get quite frigid, another experiences an unusual warm-up –– despite some beliefs that the latter couldn't see rising temperatures to a certain degree –– which is exactly what happened in Northern Canada, says Jaclyn Whittal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"The jet stream is always in motion across the globe. We're basically getting cold air from the poles and warm air from the equator, and they're always battling it out [and] trying to find balance," said Whittal.

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At this time of the year, many of the Nunavut locales should be seeing temperatures closer to - 20°C.

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"It is anomalous, it is odd, and it happens," said Whittal.

For a look at what Northern Canada can expect during the winter, check out The Weather Network's seasonal outlook, here.