Much warmer week ahead for most of the NWT

Some parts of the Northwest Territories could see temperatures above 15C this week as cooler weather across much of the territory gives way.

Yellowknife, which started the past week mustering a high of only -11C, is forecast to reach highs of 10C and 11C on Thursday and Friday respectively this coming week. That’s roughly in line with how May began last year.

Federal forecasters expect a high of 17C in Fort Smith on Friday, while Fort Simpson should spend most of the week with daily highs of around 15C. Hay River’s high is expected to be 12C on Wednesday.


Fort Liard, in its tropical corner of the territory, is forecast to reach 18C on Wednesday. Only Inuvik looks set to buck the trend, with daily highs of around 1C to 2C – a little colder than the week just gone.

The warmer weather expected to start May comes after an April that was chilly but by no means record-setting for the territorial capital.

This April was Yellowknife’s coldest since 2013, posting a mean temperature of -8.1C (though that was only fractionally colder than April 2020’s mean of -8.0C). It was also the first time since 2013 that Yellowknife failed to reach 10C even once in April.

If you’re looking for a month to blame for something, though, February fits the bill. February 2021 was Yellowknife’s coldest month (not just the coldest February, the coldest month outright) for eight years, at a mean temperature of -28.2C. The city at one point dropped to -45.5C, the coldest it’s been without wind chill in Yellowknife since 2008.