Warm October breaks a handful of NWT daily temperature records

Last modified: October 22, 2021 at 2:47pm

A warmer-than-usual October across much of Canada’s North led to a few minor temperature records in NWT communities this week.

According to a weather summary for the Northwest Territories issued by Environment Canada, three Beaufort Delta communities broke daily records – in other words, the highest temperatures ever recorded in those areas on specific dates.

Ulukhaktok had its warmest October 20 (2.2C) and October 21 (1.9C) since record-keeping began there in 1941.


Sachs Harbour had a high of 0.2C on Thursday, the first time the community has recorded a temperature above freezing on October 21 since records there began in 1955.

Paulatuk narrowly eked out a new record high on Thursday, 4.7C beating 4.6C recorded in 2013. Records in Paulatuk have been kept since 1985.

Temperatures in eastern and northern parts of the NWT have been, on average, around 3C to 4C warmer this month than the average October.

However, some parts of Nunavut have been far warmer than that. “October so far has averaged up to 7C warmer than normal” in areas of Nunavut, an Environment Canada account dedicated to the NWT tweeted on Friday.

Eleven daily temperature records were set in Nunavut over the past weekend and Monday this week, while two more were tied.


A warm air mass over Nunavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is responsible.

Temperatures in far northern NWT communities are forecast to steadily drop over the coming week, but the region was clinging to unseasonably warm weather on Friday.

Paulatuk, which ordinarily can expect a high of -8C at this time of year, was basking in 4C on Friday afternoon.