Northern Canada’s Winter Heat Wave

Canada’s average temperature for 2010 was 3.0°C above normal — the warmest year on record (source: Environment Canada)

Although cooler in the south where every one lives, Canada’s north has been breaking records for warmth in the middle of winter in a region where there is no sun until spring! I’ve covered this a couple of weeks ago and the reasons why Arctic Hothouse Turns Europe into an Icebox

This is a more recent report from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder by Bob Henson. — Stephen

“Just how mild has it been? The map at right shows departures from average surface temperatures for the period from 17 December 2010 to 15 January 2011, as calculated by NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory.

The blue blip along the southeast U.S. coast indicates readings between 3°C and 6°C (5.4–10.8°F) below average for the 30-day period as a whole…

What really jumps out, though, is a blob of green, yellow, orange, and red covering a major swath of northern and eastern Canada. The largest anomalies here exceed 21°C (37.8°F) above average, which are very large values to be sustained for an entire month.

To put this picture into even sharper focus, let’s take a look at Coral Harbour, located at the northwest corner of Hudson Bay in the province of Nunavut. On a typical mid-January day, the town drops to a low of –34°C (–29.2°F) and reaches a high of just -26°C (–14.8°F). Compare that to what Coral Harbour actually experienced:

  • On the 6th of the month, the low temperature was –3.7°C (25.3°F). That’s a remarkable 30°C (54°F) above average.
  • On both the 5th and 6th, Coral Harbor inched above the freezing mark. Before this year, temperatures above 0°C (32°F) had never been recorded in the entire three months of January, February, and March.

Related articles/posts:

Climate Change Could Be Worsening Effects of El Niño -La Niña

Ice-cold Atlanta (and eastern US) Is Likely Connected to Arctic Hothouse

The Yin and Yang of Climate Extremes We Will See More of

    5 thoughts on “Northern Canada’s Winter Heat Wave

    1. If the weather pattern stays this way a short time more- what does this say about the melt in high arctic this summer? Could we see even less ice left in September then in 2007?

      We are heading in that direction very quickly- the climate is changing very quickly now- and nothing is being done.

      • Peter, yes some are already thinking 2011 melt season will top 2007. The ice is getting thinner every year and therefore easier to melt. And yes it is happening much faster than expected.

    2. Stephen, I have finally found the information I am looking for; that is to prove (to myself) the urgency and dire consequesces of the climate crisis. I, too, fear that the 2011 summer melt will beat 2007. When this happens, I hope some alarms go off. It seems that you rarely hear about global warming on any national news station (NBC, CBS, ABC, etc) lately. I have a feeling that 2011 will be a rough year… Let’s fasten our seat belts.
      I will be following your reports, I look forward to them

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