Expect snow flurries in Yellowknife and the Dehcho on October 31 this year, with evening temperatures a few degrees above -10C for much of the territory but closer to -20C in the Beaufort Delta.
That’s the Environment and Climate Change Canada forecast for Halloween trick-or-treating as October comes to a close – a month that was warmer and drier than the NWT norm for this time of year.
According to the federal agency, the average temperature for Inuvik has been -3C so far this month. That compares to a usual monthly average of -7.6C, making this the fourth-warmest October the town has felt in 64 years.
“Holy smackers, so that’s been quite warm,” meteorologist Terri Lang remarked on seeing the data.
Slightly less snow than normal has fallen in Inuvik so far this month. In total, the town has experienced 17.4 mm of precipitation compared to a monthly average of 24.4 mm.
The October story is similar in Norman Wells, though not as pronounced as in Inuvik.
The average temperature in Norman Wells this month has been -3.3C compared to a 30-year average of -4.7C. The town has seen 20.7 mm of precipitation so far, compared to an average of 26.7 mm.
Meanwhile, October in Yellowknife has been much drier and slightly warmer than usual.
Temperatures in Yellowknife have averaged -0.4C compared to a 30-year average of -1.7C. Meanwhile, precipitation has only totalled 9 mm so far compared to an average of 30.3 mm, making this month to date Yellowknife’s fourth-driest October in the past 79 years.
“That’s not insignificant. That’s quite dry,” Lang said, noting many places in western Canada have also been dry this month.
While October in the city started out warm, Lang said temperatures will creep back to average levels for the remainder of the month.
An ‘average’ night ahead in YK
Speaking of creeping, what can trick-or-treaters in Yellowknife expect on Halloween night?
Lang said there is a risk of flurries later in the day with highs around -5C, which is “right around average.” By the time you head out that evening, the temperature could well be a little cooler.
“It looks like a pretty good night for the spooks out there on Halloween night,” Lang said.
That temperature is about average for the past few years. In 2014, Yellowknifers had the pleasure of trick-or-treating in temperatures above freezing. By contrast, 2016 saw temperatures closer to -15C.
Hay River has much the same forecast as Yellowknife for October 31 this year, while Fort Smith is not currently forecast to receive snow that day.
Fort Simpson, expected to be a little cooler than Yellowknife with a low of -12C, is set to receive flurries or sustained snow throughout at least some of the day.
Inuvik has a chance of flurries late on but an otherwise clear day could see temperatures around -19C. Temperatures and conditions in Norman Wells are forecast to be similar.
Forecasts are correct as of 9pm on Tuesday, October 27.