NWT weather to remain ‘truly extraordinary’ in the coming week

Highway 3 in the summer of 2021
Highway 3 in the summer of 2021. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Temperatures could continue to break records in the South Slave and Dehcho as much of the Northwest Territories remains astonishingly warm in the week ahead.

Forecast highs of 28C in Fort Simpson on Friday and 29C in Fort Smith on Tuesday next week would, if they come to pass, break records for this time of year that have lasted for half a century.

The NWT government’s wildfire team said fire danger is considered extreme in Fort Smith and high almost everywhere else in the South Slave, Dehcho, and many areas of the North Slave.

“The key message for almost everyone from Norman Wells south: don’t have any fires unless you absolutely need it for cooking and warmth,” the territory’s Department of Environment and Climate Change wrote online.



The department believes dry lightning and windy conditions are possible across the southern half of the territory in the coming days, a “truly extraordinary combination for this time of year.”

Temperatures could extend beyond 30C over the weekend and early next week in some of the territory’s southern reaches and parts of northern Alberta.

In a special weather advisory for the Wood Buffalo National Park, Environment and Climate Change Canada said “unseasonably hot, dry conditions will begin this weekend” with the highest temperatures coming between Sunday and Tuesday.

“Daytime highs are expected to be in the high 20s to low 30s. Overnight and early morning lows are expected to be in the low teens,” the federal agency stated.



“These daytime highs will be 10 to 15 degrees Celsius above seasonal values.”

While the NWT has recorded two wildfires and 29 burned hectares to date in an early start to the season, the situation in Alberta is far worse, with huge fires forcing thousands of people to leave their homes and triggering a provincial state of emergency.

Fire crews from the NWT have been dispatched to help.