Hay River, hotter than Texas, posts incredible 31C in early May

Hay River, Northwest Territories reached 31C on Wednesday afternoon, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the town this early in May.

With the temperature at an airport weather station still rising as the afternoon rolled on, a block of warm air parked over the territory had the staggering effect of quadrupling Hay River’s average high.

A normal peak temperature on May 3 would be 8.4C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada data.


The only comparable entry in Hay River’s weather record is a high of 31.7C registered on May 4, 1898.

Only once in the whole of 2022 – August 18, with a high of 31.7C – did Hay River have a hotter day than May 3, 2023.

On Wednesday afternoon, the town was warmer than any city in the southern US state of Texas, where the likes of Austin, Dallas and Houston each recorded highs of 29C.

Fort Smith reached 29C, not far from Hay River’s high, while Fort Providence stood at 27C as of 3pm.

Windy conditions took some of the edge off the heat. In Hay River, sustained winds of more than 30 km/h were recorded, with gusts nearing 50 km/h.


As South Slave temperature records fell, some parts of the NWT had yet to break zero.

Inuvik’s afternoon high on Wednesday was -3C. A weather station at Tuktoyaktuk’s airport, on the Arctic coast, recorded only -4C.