Joy unconfined as Yellowknife awakes to minus-2 heatwave

Impromptu street parties threatened to develop on Thursday morning as Yellowknife residents awoke to discover their near-endless winter briefly lifted.

The early-morning temperature flitted between -3C and -2C in the NWT’s capital, far surpassing the federal forecast’s wildest expectations of -7C. The revised forecast high for the day suggested Yellowknife could reach 0C by lunchtime.

The city hasn’t registered a temperature above freezing since October 24.


Since then, Yellowknife has endured the kind of winter older residents wistfully recall, a nostalgic tear frozen to their eye.

Residents spent 16 consecutive days facing lows below -30C in December, then another 14 consecutive days of the same conditions in January, representing two of the longest cold snaps recorded in the past two decades.

Eight days have plunged below -40C without wind chill.

The temperature hit -37.6C on Tuesday this week, making Yellowknife’s -2C wake-up on Thursday all the more remarkable.

Conditions are due to remain relatively mild for the next few days, with highs in the range of -10C to -15C.


Residents basking in their newfound warmth on Thursday did, however, confess horror as they suddenly began to panic that the Snowcastle would melt again.