Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
Canadian Meteorology: Encyclopedia Arctica 7: Meteorology and Oceanography
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962

Canadian Meteorology

EA: Meteor.
[Department of Transport,
Air Services Meteorological Division,
Toronto, Canada]

CANADIAN METEOROLOGY

Table of Contents
Page
History of the Canadian Weather Service 1
History of the Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic
Weather Stations
14
Arctic Expeditions in Which the Canadian Meteorological
Service Participated
43
Climate of Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada 52
Arctic Observing Techniques 88
Directors of the Meteorological Service of Canada 91
References 96
Three charts: Mean Pressure
Mean Temperature
Climatic Regions of Arctic and Subarctic Canada
CANADIAN METEOROLOGY
History of the Canadian Weather Service
Among the earliest Canadian meteorological or climatic
observations are those made by the Jesuit Missionaries in the 17th century.
Their records, known as the Jesuit Relations, date back to 1610 and contain
many references to climatic phenomena which permit some comparison to be made
between the climate of that period and the present. That the climate then was
much the same as it is today may be seen from the following excerpts which are
quoted from the Jesuit Relations for the period 1610-1614.
“The chief city of new France is called Kebec and is
situated on the St. Lawrence River. The whole country possesses a
healthful climate but is harassed by a long and cold winter. This is
caused partly by--the abundance of snow with which the land in its
most northern regions, which lie upon the same parallel, as old France,
is continually desolated for three or four months.” ---- “I noticed
once that two February days ---- were as beautiful, mild and springlike
as are those in France about that time, nevertheless, the third day
after, it snowed a little and the cold returned. Sometimes in summer,
the heat is as intolerable, or more so, than it is in France.”
Instrumental observations were made at some posts of the
Hudson’s Bay Company in the 18th century, for example, at York Factory in
1772 and 1773. However, it was not until 1839, when Lieutenant Charles
James Buchanan Riddell of the Royal Artillery arrived in Montreal to establish
a magnetic observatory, that an organized weather service was founded in
Canada.
The study of terrestrial magnetism was receiving world–
wide attention in the early part of the 19th century, and in 1838 the
British Association for the Advancement of Science brought to the attention
of the Government the desirability of obtaining a series of simultaneous
magnetic observations at various points in the British colonies. The
recommendations of Baron von Humboldt of Germany, Major Edward Sabine, the
President of the Royal Society, and the Committee of the British Association
were adopted by the Government and four expeditions were sent out in 1839.
The localities chosen by Sabine for the proposed stations
were Canada, van Diemen Island, St. Helena and the Cape of Good Hope. The
expedition to van Diemen Island was conducted by the British Admiralty and
the other three were under the Ordnance Department, the duties to be performed
by officers and soldiers of the Royal Artillery. It was suggested that the
observations at these stations should include meteorological as well as
magnetic phenomena.
Riddell felt that the presence of magnetic rock in the
vicinity of Montreal made it an undesirable location for a magnetic observatory.
He obtained permission to choose a suitable site at Toronto instead, and
observations were begun in an unused barracks of Old Fort York on Christmas
Day, 1839. A grant of land was obtained from King’s College (now the University
of Toronto) in 1840 in order that the Observatory might be established in
appropriate scientific surroundings and the Meteorological Service has been
closely affiliated with this University ever since. A complete set of
meteorological instruments was installed, including a barometer which remained in active service as the standard barometer for Canada until 1939.
Riddell returned to England in 1841 because of ill health.
His successor, Lieutenant (General Sir) John Henry Lefroy was posted to Toronto
from the Observatory at St. Helena. Lefroy was a true scientist with a genuine
enthusiasm for his work, and under his able administration, the Observatory was
guided through its critical formative period.
Lefroy arrived in Canada in 1842 and immediately set out on
a magnetic survey of the far North-West. His survey covered a route extending
to Hudson’s Bay and along the Mackenzie River as far north as Fort Good Hope
by means of canoe transport provided by the Hudson’s Bay Company. At each
stopping point, Lefroy an s d his assistant took magnetic and meteorological
observations.
Lefroy foresaw the merits of obtaining weather information
from as broad an area as possible and obtained permission to place an observing
book in each of the military guard-rooms across the land. By this means, he
was able to collect data from Queenston, Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, London,
Fredericton, Halifax and Newfoundland. He also endeavoured to bring about a
plan whereby the various high schools across Canada would take regular weather
observations. Unfortunately, the necessary legislation was not passed until
1854 after Lefroy had returned to England. Observations were begun at twelve
high schools in 1858 and these were continued until 1876 when the government
grant for this purpose was discontinued.
The original programme called for the establishment of the
Observatory for a three-year period, and when this expired, the Ordnance Department maintained it on a year-to-year basis only. In 1850 the military
authorities decided to withdraw altogether and for a time it seemed likely that
the work at the Observatory would be discontinued. However, the Canadian
(now Royal Canadian) Institute along with kindred societies prevailed upon the
Legislative Council of the Province of Canada to ensure the continuance of the
Observatory. In 1853 a transfer was completed whereby the Observatory was
turned over to Professor J.B. Cherriman of the University of Toronto on behalf
of the Government of Canada. The non-commissioned officers of the Royal
Artillery, who had been taking the observations at Toronto, were given a
discharge from the Army and continued to work at the Observatory. One of them,
Thomas Menzies, was with Riddell when the Observatory was first established,
and he continued as an active observer until his death in 1887.
In 1855, Professor Cherriman’s brother-in-law, Professor
G.T. Kingston, the Head of the Naval College in Quebec, was appointed Professor
of Natural Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Before Professor
Kingston arrived to take up his new position, Professor Cherriman managed to
negotiate a switch whereby he was made Professor of Natural Philosophy and
Professor Kingston was appointed Professor of Meteorology and Director of the
Observatory.
The practical value of meteorology was little appreciated
by the Government, but through Professor Kingston’s strenuous efforts, a
sufficient grant was voted to enable the Observatory to carry on. The faith
that Professor Kingston had that the work of the Observatory would ultimately
be of great benefit to Canada is illustrated in his first annual report to the Auditor-General in 1855 from which the following excerpt is quoted.
“The object of the observatory is that of furnishing
to the scientific world the materials necessary for evolving the laws
that regulate the magnetic and meteorological phenomena of the earth.
Other enquiries of a practical as well as of a
speculative character might obtain their solution by a course of
diligent observation extended through a long period of years. The
possible realization of these objects should be borne in mind in
estimating the utility of an observatory which it would be unfair to
measure wholly by its more obvious and immediate results.”
Professor Kingston recognized the fact that if simultaneous
weather reports from several points could be received at a central office, the
motion of weather systems could be followed to a certain extent and thus
weather forecasts could be prepared. The newly invented telegraph provided
the required rapid means of communication and in 1857, Professor Kingston
read a paper before the Canadian Institute on the possible use of telegraphic
reports in weather forecasting. His hearers were favourably impressed and a
committee was appointed to report on the matter. The committee recommended
that Government support as well as private aid be granted for the purpose of
establishing certain stations from which these reports might be received.
The Canadian Government provided a grant of $5000. in 1871 to carry out this
work and the Meteorological Service of Canada was organized under the
Department of Marine and Fisheries.
In order to broaden the field from which observational
data was were received, arrangements were made whereby the transmission of daily
reports from Port Stanley, Port Dover, Saugeen, Toronto, Kingston and Quebec
to Washington was begun in 1872 and in return, reports from 15 United States
stations were sent to Toronto. This exchange of reports made it possible to
prepare daily synoptic weather charts and paved the way for eventually
placing weather forecasting on a sound scientific basis.
The first official storm warning in Canada was issued from
the Meteorological Office at Toronto in 1876 by Mr. R.F. (later Sir Frederic)
Stupart, and the first public weather forecast by Mr. B.C. Webber in 1877.
The drawing of weather charts was an entirely new field and very little was
known about their interpretation. The meteorologist was further handicapped
by the small amount of data with which he had to work. In view of these
limitations, the courage of those pioneer meteorologists is to be admired for
continuing to issue daily weather forecasts in the face of public scepticism
and ridicule.
The westward expansion of the Canadian Pacific Railway
in the 1880’s and the concurrent extension of the telegraph made it possible
to establish reporting stations from coast to coast. These stations were, of
course, all located along the extreme southern fringe of Canada. The vast
north country was still a blank area on weather maps. Nevertheless, steady
progress was made in the interpretation of the available information and the
Service gradually gained public confidence.
The status of weather forecasting in Canada in the
early part of the 20th century is well expressed in an article written in
1912 by R.F. Stupart, the Director of the Meteorological Service: “The maps,
however, valuable as they are, are deficient in many respects, the telegraph
does not yet reach much beyond the southern margin of Canada, and the weather
map shows a vast blank to the northward, and cloud observations showing the
motion of the upper air are fragmentary and unreliable. Forecasts based on
such imperfect information must necessarily be liable to occasional error.”
The need for more northern stations was very acute,
especially for the study of the great cold waves which are characteristic of
Canadian winters. This need was felt by the United States Weather Office as
well as by Canada. On September 4, 1882, Major-General Haz e n, the Chief
Signal Officer in Washington wrote to Charles Carpmael, who had succeeded
Professor Kingston as Director in 1880, offering United States assistance in
paying the salaries of observers at Fort Chipewyan and Prince Albert. The
financial assistance of the United States was not required in this instance,
(the observer’s allowance at Fort Chipewyan was a modest $60. per annum) but
it is interesting to note that sixty years later during World War II, a
large number of weather stations were established in northern Canada with
United States aid.
In the years 1900-1910, observing stations were established
along the MacKenzie Valley as far as Herschel Island on the Arctic Ocean.
These stations were valuable inasmuch as they provided climatic data, but the lack of sufficiently rapid communications made it impossible to utilize their
reports in daily forecasting. As further advances were made in the technique
of radio transmission from 1926 on, these stations were equipped with radio,
and for the first time meteorologists were able to draw the daily weather
pattern for northern continental North America on their charts with some
degree of confidence.
Until 1910, weather observations consisted almost entirely
of surface observations and the only information available to meteorologists
on the structure and motion of air above the surface was that given by cloud
observations. It was realized that before any major advances could be made in
meteorological knowledge it would be necessary to learn more about physical
processes in the upper atmosphere. A kits station was set up at Agincourt,
near Toronto, to take soundings of the atmosphere by means of recording
instruments carried aloft on kites. This represented a step in the right
direction but there were too many limitations to this method to make it a
practical forecasting aid. If the winds were too light, the kites would not
rise, and if they were too strong, the kites could not stand up against them.
It is interesting to note that the first upper air observations in Canada were
made in the Arctic by Sir Edward Parry, who sent self-registering thermometers
aloft on kites in January 1822 near latitude 66° 11′N, longitude 83° 10′W.
The next step was to explore the atmosphere to much greater
heights by means of free balloons carrying self-recording meteorological
instruments. This method, too, was useful for research purposes only, for it was an obvious requirement that before the record could be used, it had to be
found and shipped to the office of origin. In a country as sparsely populated
as Canada, this usually took several weeks, and often months or even years,
which made their use at isolated stations out of the question. This was
demonstrated during the Second Polar Year Expedition to Fort Rae, N.W.T. in
1932-33, for 27 meteorographs were released but only two were recovered.
Some use was made of aeroplanes to assist in obtaining
upper air data, and flights were begun for this purpose by the Toronto Flying
Club in 1934. Through the cooperation of the R.C.A.F., daily ascents were made
at Fort Smith, N.W.T. during the winter of 1936-37. Ascents were also made at
Edmonton by the Edmonton Flying Club and in Newfoundland by Imperial Airways.
When short-wave radio was perfected, it was possible to
combine the meteorograph with a miniature radio transmitter in such a way that
the radio signals from the instrument could be received at a ground station
and interpreted in terms of pressure, temperature and humidity. This new type
of instrument, called a radiosonde, supplied meteorology with a new tool for
sounding the atmosphere at any suitably equipped station in any kind of weather.
The radiosonde soon replaced all the former methods for obtaining upper air
soundings, and by 1950 there were 28 stations in Canada equipped to take
radiosonde flights, of which 8 are in the Arctic and 14 in the sub-Arctic. The
amount of upper air data which is being obtained from the Canadian Arctic and
sub-Arctic is proving extremely useful in current weather forecasting and will
undoubtedly provide a valuable aid to meteorological research.
A further aid in the study of upper air motions was developed
immediately after the First World War. The speed and direction of winds
aloft were determined by releasing a small balloon, called a pilot balloon,
which was inflated with hydrogen to rise at a known rate and followed visually
with a theodolite. The first pilot balloon station in Canada was established
at Toronto in 1920. By 1950, 69 of the weather stations in Canada were
equipped to take pilot balloon observations.
The expansion of the Canadian Meteorological Service was
steady but gradual until the mid-1930’s. At that time it was announced that
a national air service, the Trans-Canada Air Lines, was to be inaugurated
in the very near future. The successful operation of a scheduled air service
depends to a great extent on an accurate knowledge of present weather and weather
trends at a large number of points and the Meteorological Service was not
equipped to provide such a detailed service. It was necessary to expand from
a daytime organization issuing public weather forecasts only, to one operating
on a 24-hour basis with a forecast staff at all the major air terminals. New
observing stations had to be established and the frequency of observations
at many stations had to be increased to hourly intervals. Training courses
were begun immediately and when Trans-Canada Air Lines were ready to undertake
their maiden flight in April 1937, the Meteorological Service was ready to
fill their weather requirements.
Two years later, the beginning of the Second World War
necessitated another rapid expansion of the Meteorological Service. The main
requirement at first was for additional staff to act as instructors and forecasters at Air Force operational and training centres. After the United
States entered the war, weather reports were needed from several routes which
were used for the large-scale ferrying of aircraft to various theatres of
operation. The main routes were from Edmonton to Fairbanks, Winnipeg to
Greenland and from Newfoundland to England.
The Meteorological Service of Canada could not undertake to
establish a large number of stations in the sub-Arctic and Arctic owing to a
critical shortage of staff and equipment and an agreement was made with the
United States that the new stations which were required would be operated either
entirely by the United States or with United States assistance. The basic
agreement was that Canada would be responsible for operating all installations
which were considered to be an essential part of the general meteorological
system of Canada and that the United States would be permitted to instal and
operate supplementary meteorological facilities for the duration of the war. At
the end of the war most of the stations established by the United States were
closed and the remainder were taken over by Canada as rapidly as staff became
available.
The main expansion of the Meteorological Service during the
postwar period has been in the Arctic. The increasing interest in Arctic weather
phenomena which was intensified during the war years was crystallized into a
definite blueprint for the establishment of a network of weather stations in the
Canadian Arctic Islands. Canada and the United States made an agreement to
jointly establish and operate a series of Arctic weather stations to be located approximately 500 miles apart in the Canadian Arctic. The first of these
stations was established on Slidre Fiord on Ellesmere Island in April 1947 and
the second on Cornwallis Island in September of the same year. Two more
stations were established in April 1948, one on Prince Patrick Island, and
the other on Ellef Ringnes Island. A fifth station is being established this
year (1950) near the northermost tip of Ellesmere Island.
The completion of this Arctic program will provide an adequate
network of Arctic stations for present meteorological needs. On January 1, 1950, the
Canadian Meteorological Service was receiving weather reports from 1088 stations,
of which 128 are located in the sub-Arctic and Arctic regions. The point has
been reached where an additional increase in the number of reporting stations
in Canada would probably produce no noticeable improvement in weather forecasting.
The main problem facing the Meteorological Service at the present time is to
utilize the data which is are available and attempt to improve the technique and
methods of forecasting, for it is unfortunately true, as in Stupart’s day, that
forecasts are still “liable to occasional error.”
The growth of the Meteorological Service from 1839 to 1950 is
illustrated in the following table. The number of observing stations in
operation at the end of each Director’s term of office is given. In the case
of the present Controller, the number of stations shown is the number in
operation on January 1, 1950.
Director Term of office No. of stations
Lt. C.J.B. Riddell, R.A. 1839-1841 1
Capt. J.H. Lefroy, R.A. 1841-1853 1
Prof. J.B. Cherriman, M.A. 1853-1855 1
Prof. G.T. Kingston, M.A. 1855-1880 123
C. Carpmael, M.A. 1880-1894 285
Sir Frederic Stupart, K.B. 1894-1929 835
Dr. J. Patterson, O.B.E., M.A., L.L.D. 1929-1946 984
A. Thomson, O.B.E., M.A. 1946- 1088
HISTORY OF THE CANADIAN ARCTIC AND SUB-ARCTIC WEATHER STATIONS
The need for weather reporting stations in Canada’s Arctic
and sub-Arctic regions was recognized in the earliest days of the Canadian
Meteorological Service, especially when the construction of synoptic weather
charts for forecast purposes was begun in 1872. However, the establishment
of northern stations was a slow process owing to lack of funds, lack of
communications and the relative inaccessibility of these regions.
For the purposes of this article, considerations of density
of population, communications, transportation, climate and mature of terrain
have made it desirable to define the southern boundary of sub-Arctic Canada
as follows:
The 55th parallel across British Columbia, Alberta and
Saskatchewan to the Manitoba border, then a line through Flin Flon and the
Pas across Manitoba to where the 51st parallel crosses the Manitoba-Ontario
border; thence eastward along the 51st parallel to the Quebec border and from
there to Dolbeau, just north of Lake St. John; from Dolbeau to Caribou Point
and from there along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River through the
Straits of Belle Isle.
Much of our early knowledge of weather conditions in the
Canadian Arctic has been abstracted from the logs of Arctic expeditions. An
important publication which lists the meteorological observations of 36
expeditions during the period 1819-1858 is “Contributions to Our Knowledge of
the Meteorology of the Arctic Regions, Vol. I, H.M. Stationery Office, 1885”.
The length of the individual records varies but usually covers a period of
from one to two years.
After 1871, the Meteorological Service of Canada began a
systematic program of establishing northern stations by enlisting the aid of
the Hudson’s Bay Company, missionaries and the North-West (later Royal
Canadian) Mounted Police. In July 1873, six cases of instruments were sent
to the Right Reverend Lord Bishop of Rupert’s Land, St. John’s College,
Winnipeg, for distribution to mission stations under his jurisdiction. In
1882, Carpmael made arrangements through the Minister of the Interior for
observations to be taken at all North-West Mounted Police stations.
As the sub-Arctic became more settled during the early
part of the 20th century, the number of observing stations gradually
increased, with the observations being taken by private individuals and
employees of commercial and mining companies. This expansion was very
noticeable in the Peace River district where a large number of observing
stations were opened up during the period 1910-1935. At many of these
stations instruments were supplied by the Meteorological Service and the
observations were taken without pay. At other stations, a small allowance
was given to the observer, but this was usually less than $100 per annum.
The bulk of the information which we possess concerning
the climate of Labrador prior to 1900 has been obtained from the records kept
at the mission stations which were established along the Labrador coast by the
Moravian Brethren. In 1765, Jens Haven, who had worked among the Greenland
Eskimoes, arrived in Labrador with three Moravian Brethren to do missionary
work. Permission for the project was granted by Commodore Sir High Palliser,
the governor of Newfoundland. In the years which followed, missions were established by the Moravian Brethren at Nain in 1770, Okkak in 1775, Hopedale
in 1781, Hebron in 1829, Zoar in 1865, Ramah in 1871, Makkovik in 1900 and
Killinek in 1904. Zoar, Ramah and Killinek have since been abandoned.
The observations which were taken at these stations were
forwarded to Hamburg. Germany, and have been published in the volumes of
“Deutsche Uberseeische Meteoroloigsche Beobachtungen, herausgegeben von der
Deutschen Seewarte”. In 1926, the Meteorological Service of Canada authorized
an allowance to be paid to the Moravian Mission at Nain, and since then the
records from this station have been forwarded directly to the Meteorological
Service.
In the latter 1920’s government radio stations were opened
at various points in the North-West Territories such as Aklavik, Coppermine,
Fort Norman, Fort Simpson and Fort Smith, for example, for the purpose of
gathering and transmitting meteorological data as well and handling commercial
messages. The outbreak of war in 1939 and the corresponding increase in
military flying over Arctic regions necessitated the establishment of additional
northern stations in Canada. This was especially true after the United States
entered the war in 1941. Aircraft were ferried to Alaska, the Aleutians and
the U.S.S.R. by way of northwestern Canada, and to the United Kingdom, Iceland
and Greenland by way of northeastern Canada. Many of these wartime stations
were established and operated either wholly by the United States or with their
assistance.
Meteorological observations have been taken in the
Canadian Arctic during the numerous voyages of the Canadian Government ice–
breakers C.G.S. Arctic and N.B. McLean, the Hudson’s Bay Company vessel S.S.
Nascopie which foundered off the north coast of Baffin Land in 1947 and the
R.C.M.P. vessel St. Roch. Climatic data and meteorological observations were
also recorded on most of the Canadian Geological Survey expeditions to various
parts of northern Canada. These records are to be found in the Annual Reports
of the Geological Survey of Canada.
The Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic stations at which
meteorological observations are known to have been taken are given in the
following list.
Classification:
Class I - A station where standard equipment consists of a mercurial
barometer, wet . , dry, maximum and minimum thermometers, anemometer, barograph
and rain gauge. At most of these stations complete observations are taken
four times daily at fixed synoptic hours, viz. 0130, 0730, 1330 and 1930 EST.
At the stations designated by “T”, the synoptic reports are immediately
communicated by means of radio and telegraph to the teletype network linking
all forecast offices in Canada.
Class II - A station where the equipment consists of a maximum and
minimum thermometer and a rain gauge ordinarily, although at a few the
equipment is more extensive.
Class III - The meteorological equipment consists of a rain gauge only.
Class IIIm - A rainfall reporting station in operation during the
summer months only.
F - indicates that weather forecasts are issued.
A - indicates that the observations are taken at an airport.
P - indicates that the station was in operation on January 1, 1950.
a - indicates that position is approximate.
b - indicates broken record.
Station Class Lat. °N Long. °W Height in
ft. above
sea level
Years of
operation
First
Observer
Remarks
British Columbia
Aiyansh IIIP 55°16′ 129°9′ 500 1924- M.M. Priestley
Anyox II 55°27′ 129°48′ 370 1916-1935 F.E. Patton
Atlin I 59°35′ 133°38′ 2240 1899-1946 R. Patrick
Babine Lake IIP 55°8′ 126°18′ 2230 1910- (b) F. Durham Observations 1910-
1936 at Babine Lake
Hatchery.
Beatton River(A) IIP 57°23′ 121°25′ 2755 1944- Dept. of Transport
Camp Blueberry I 56°44′ 121°47′ 3094 1943-1645 U.S.A.A.F.
Coal River I 59°40′ 127°15′ 1660 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Dawson Creek I 55°45′ 120°15′ 2203 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Dease Lake ITP 58°25′ 130°0′ 2678 1943- (b) U.S.A.A.F. Station operated by
Dept. of Transport
since Oct. 1946.
Echo Lake II 56°56′ 130°16′ 3714 1924-1926 A. McKay
Engineer II 59°30′ 134°15′ 2160 1925-1929 C.E. Gilerich
Finlay Forks ITP 56°0′ 123°49′ 1900 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Taken over by Domin–
ion Gov’t. Telegraph
in 1945.
Fort Nelson(A) ITP 58°50′ 122°35′ 1230 1937- United Air Lines Operated by Dept. of
Transport since 1942.
Radiosonde station.
Station Class Lat. °N Long.°W Height in
ft. above
sea level
Years of
operation
First
Observer
Remarks
British Columbia Cont’d
Fort St. John
(Baldonnel)
IIP 56°12′ 120°49′ 2500 1910- c. c. Campbell Observations also
taken a few miles
away by Dr. H.A.W.
Brown from 1933-1945.
Fort St. John (A) ITP 56°14′ 120°44′ 2275 1942- Dept. of Transport
Hudson Hope I 56°5′ 121°55′ 1606 1916-1944 F. Monteith
Ingenika Mine II 56°45′ 125°0′ 2500 1932-1939 E. Buchann
Log Cabin I 59°46′ 134°59′ 2900 1943-1947 U.S.A.A.F. Operated by Canada
after Feb. 1946.
Lower Post I 59°57′ 128°39′ 1830 1937-1938 United Air Lines Observing station
transferred to Watson
Lake in 1938.
McDames Creek II 59°12′ 119°12′ ---- 1937-1941 B.C. Provincial
Police
Mill Bay IIP 55°0′ 129°45′ 10 1915- W.D. Noble
Morley River I 59°53′ 131°46′ ---- 1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Muncho Lake I 58°55′ 125°46′ 2724 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
New Hazelton IIP 55°15′ 127°35′ 1150 1914- W.J. Larkworthy
Pouce Coupe II 55°43′ 120°8′ 2000 1926-1939 A. Chalmers
Premier IIP 56°3′ 130°1′ 1371 1926- W.H. Pettman
Progress II 55°50′ 120°10′ 2800 1942-1948 H. Bentley
Rolla II 55°41′ 120°21′ 2400 1920-1924 E.S. Jephson
Silver Creek
(Oninica)
II 55°30′ 126°0′ ---- 1943-1945 Takla Mercury Mines
Slate Creek II 55°45′ 124°45′ 3200 1936-1938 W. Ogilvie
Smith River (A) ITP 59°52′ 126°30′ 2208 1944- Dept. of Transport
Stewart IIP 56°1′ 130°1′ 4 1910 W. H. Manton
Summit Lake I 58°39′ 124°38′ 4146 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Sweetwater III 55°52′ 120°30′ 2600 1933-1946 W.S. Simpson
Takla Landing I 55°29′ 125°58′ 2273 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Telegraph Creek I 57°54′ 131°9′ 550 1942-1948 Dept. of Transport Some Observations
taken 1924-1928 by
F.N. Jackson.
Trout Liard I 59°31′ 126°2′ 1388 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Trutch IIP 57°48′ 122°54′ 2813 1943- (b) U.S.A.A.F. U.S.A.A.F. withdrew
1945. Re-opened by
Canada Sept. 1948.
YUKON
Aishihik(A) ITP 61°37′ 137°31′ 3170 1943- Dept. of Transport
Brooks Brook I 60°30′ 133°23′ 2365 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Canyon Creek I 60°52′ 137°8′ 2130 1943-1946 U.S.A.A.F.
Carcross IIP 60°11′ 134°34′ 2171 1907- P Reid. Station closed
1948-1949.
Dawson ITP 64°4′ 139°29′ 1062 1897- W. Ogilvie,
Commissioner of
the Territory
Radio station
established in 1925
and observations
taken over by Royal
Can. Crops of Signals
Davils Pass I 60°31′ 134°10′ 2220 1943-1944 U.S.A.A.F.
Elsa IIP 64° 135°30′(a) ---- 1948- Keno Hill Mining Co..
Fish Lake I 60°10′ 132°3′ 2845 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Flight Strip#6(A) I 60°40′ 113°28′ 2770 1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Flight Strip#8(A) I 61°25′ 139°7′ 2575 1944-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Fort Constantine II 64°0′ 140°0′ ---- 1895-1897 N.W.M.P.
Forty Mile II 64°30′ 140°30′ 1000 1937-1928 J.E. Ellis
Frances Lake IIP 61°17′ 129°24′ 2425 1941- Hudson’s Bay Co. Pressure observations
available for part
of period.
Kluane Lake II 60°56′ 138°20′ ---- 1946 H.J. Brooks
Mayo ITP 63°35′ 135°51′ 1625 1925- Royal Can. Corps
of Signals
Orchie Lake I 62°10′ 131°45′ ---- 1944-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Pine Creek IIP 60°50′ 137°33′ 2030 1944- Dom. Experimental
Sub-Station
Rampart House II 67°30′ 134°30′ ---- 1874-1879 J. McDougal, H.B.Co. Observations discon–
tinued when McDougall
Moved to Dunvegan.
Rancheria I 60°5′ 130°10′ 2770 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Ross River I 62°2′ 132°25′ 2316 1943-1944 U.S.A.A.F.
Selkirk IIP 62°46′ 137°25′ ---- 1941- Dom. Govt. Telegraph Some observations by
N.W.M. Police 1898-
1899.
Sang(A) ITP 62°22′ 140°24′ 1925 1943- Dept. of Transport Lowest temperature
in North America,
−81.4°F, recorded
here on Feb. 3, 1947.
Stewart River IIP 63°20′ 139°25′ ---- 1941- Dom. Govt.
Telegraph
Visual airways
observations only.
Swede Creek II 64°6′ 139°45′ 1050 1919-1929 J.R. Farr
Swift River I 60°0′ 131°5′ 3415 1943-1946 U.S.A.A.F.
Tagish Lake II 60°17′ 134°15′ ---- 1898-1900 N.W.M. Police
Teslin(A) ITP 60°10′ 132°44′ 2300 1943- Dept. of Transport
Victoria Gulch III 62°0′ 137°10′(a) ---- 1905-1906 P. Holloway
Watson Lake(A) ITP 60°7′ 128°48′ 2248 1939- Dept. of Transport
Whitehorse II 60°45′ 135°0′ 2075 1900-1911(b) E.D. Bolton
Whitehorse(A) ITFP 60°43′ 135°5′ 2289 1940- Dept. of Transport Radiosonde station.
NORTH WEST TERRITORIES
Aklavik ITP 68°14′ 134°50′ 25 1926- R.C.C.S. Radiosonde station.
Arctic Bay ITP 73°0′ 85°18′ 36 1937- H.B. Co. Radiosonde station.
Operated by Dept. of
Transport after 1945.
Observation taken
1910-11 when Capt.
Bernier’s expedition
wintered there.
Ashe Inlet I 62°33′ 70°35′ 100 1844-1886 W.A. Ashe Observing station
during Dom. Govt.
expedition to
Hudson Bay &
Strait, 1884-1886.
Bache Peninsula I 79°10′ 76°45′ 10 1930-1933 R.C.M. Police
Baker Lake ITP 64°18′ 96°5′ 30 1946- R.C.C.S. Radiosonde station.
Cambridge Bay ITP 69°7′ 105°1′ 45 1935- Rev. R. Thomas Observations taken
in 1852-1853 by
expedition commanded
by Capt. Richard
Collinson in the
“Enterprise ” and in
1927-1928 by officers
of C.G.S. “Baymaud”.
Camsell River II 63°30′ 112°0′ -- 1933-1934 W.G. Stuart
Cape Dorset II 64°15′ 76°25′ 40 1915-1927(b) S.J. Stewart
Chesterfield Inlet ITP 63°20′ 90°43′ 13 1921- Rev. Father R.T.A.
Turquetel, R.C.
Mission.
Marine radio station
established in Sept.
1930. One of
Canadian bases during
Second International
Polar Year, 1932-1933
Clyde River ITP 70°25′ 68°17′ 26 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Observations by
J.G. Cormack of H.B.
Co. 1933-1935.
Radiosonde station.
Operating taken over
by Canada in 1948.
Coppermine ITP 67°47′ 115°15′ 13 1930- R.C.C.S. Radiosonde station.
One of Canadian bases
during Second Inter–
national Polar Year,
1932-1933.
Coral Harbour(A) ITP 64°11′ 83°17′ 193 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Taken over by Canada
in 1945. Radiosonde
station. Observa–
tions taken 1933-
1935 by H.P. Dionne
H.B. [: ]
Craig Harbour I 76°12′ 79°35′ 12 1922-1939 (b) R.C.M. Police Post abandoned in
1939.
Dundas Harbour IP 74°34′ 82°10′ 18 1945- R.C.M. Police Observations by
R.C.M.P. 1930-1933.
Ennadal Lake ITP 61°8′ 100°55′ 875 1949- R.C.C.S.
Eskimo Point I 61°7′ 94°3′ 25 1943-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Eureka ITP 80°13′ 86°11′ 8 1947- Dept. of Transport
and U.S. Weather
Bureau
Radiosonde station.
Operated jointly by
U.S. and Canada.
Fort Franklin III 65°20′ 123°0′ 500 1930 only ------- Winter quarters of
Sir John Franklin’s
land expedition
1825-1826.
Fort Good Hope IIP 66°15′ 128°38′ 214 1896- (b) Rev. P. Seguin,
R.C. Mission de
Norte Dame de Bonne
Esperance.
Instruments moved to
Fort Norman in 1904,
returned in 1908.
Fort Good Hope ITP 66°15′ 128°38′ 251 1944- R.C.C.S.
Fort Liard II 66°30′ 124°0'(a) 500 1892-1893 Rev. T.J. Marsh,
Anglican Mission
Rev. Marsh moved to
Hay River in 1893
and took instruments
with him.
Fort McPherson IIP 67°26′ 134°53′ 150 1892- Rev. J.O. Stringer
and Count V.E. de
Sainville.
Rev. Stringer trans–
ferred to Herschel
Island in 1897.
Fort Norman ITP 64°54′ 125°30′ 300 1904- Rev. G. Houssais,
R.C. Mission
Instruments brought
from Fort Good Hope
in 1904. Radio
station established
in 1930 and observa–
tions taken over by
R.C.C.S.
Fort Rae I 62°40′ 115°45′ 540 1875-1886 (b) A. Flett, H.B. Co. Instruments taken up
by Bishop of
McKenzie River in
1875. Joint British–
Canadian station
during first Interna–
tional Polar Year
1882-1883, and base
for British axpedi–
tion during Second
International Polar
Year 1932-1933. Some
observations taken
1934-1936 by R.A.
Ingrey.
Fort Reliance ITP 62°43′ 109°6′ 515 1948- R.C.C.S.
Fort Resolution(A) ITP 61°10′ 113°41′ 519 1875- (b) R. Swanston Records incomplete
from 1875-1912.
Observations taken at
R.C. Mission until
1930. Radio station
established in 1930
and observations
taken over by R.C.C.S.
Airport opened March
1943.
Fort Ross I 71°55′ 94°15′ 50 1937-1948 (b) H.B. Co. Personnel evacuated
in Nov. 1943, when
supply ship unable
to reach Fort Ross
during 1942 and 1943.
Station re-opened
Oct. 1944 and closed
in March 1948.
Fort Simpson ITP 61°52′ 121°21′ 415 1875- (b) Rev. A.C. Carrioch,
St. David’s Mission
Records incomplete
from 1875-1894.
Barometer and other
instruments left
here by V.
Stefansson in 1908.
Radio station
established in 1924
and observations
begun by RCCS. Obser–
vations at mission
discontinued in 1927.
Fort Simpson(A) I 61°52′ 121°13′ 572 1943-1946 USAAF and Dept.
of Transport
USAAF withdrew in
1945.
Fort Smith I 60°0′ 111°52′ 680 1911-1946 A.J. Bell Observations taken
at RCCS radio station
after 1928
Fort Smith(A) ITP 60°1′ 111°58′ 665 1943- USAAF and Dept.
of Transport
Radiosonde station.
USAAF withdrew in
1945.
Hay River I 60°50′ 115°32′ 529 1893-1943 Rev. T.J. Marsh,
Anglican Mission
Mission station
discontinued when
observations begun
at Hay River airport
in 1943.
Hay River(A) ITP 60°53′ 115°46′ 529 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Station taken over
by RCCS in 1945.
Herschel Island II 69°30′ 139°15′ 15 1896-1928 (b) Capt. G. Leavitt Observations taken
over by Anglican
Mission 1897-1906
when mission was
closed and instru–
ments were left in
charge of N.W.M.
Police. No records
received from 1906-
1916. Broken series
of observations
taken by Cecillia
Harding from 1916-
1928.
Holman Island ITP 70°30′ 117°38′ 30 1939- W.L.T. Smith
of H.B. Co.
Station transferred
here from Walker Bay.
Indin Lake ITP 64°16′ 115°14′ 900 1948- Trans-American
Mining Corporation
Isachsen ITP 78°47′ 103°32′ 83 1948- Dept. of Transport
and U.S. Weather
Bureau
Station operated
jointly by U.S. and
Canada. Established
by airlift from
Resolute in April,
1948. Radiosonde
station.
Kazan River I 61°34′ 100°40′ 800 1945-1946 R.C.A.F.
Kittigazuit ITP 69°17′ 133°56′ 92 1948- R.C.A.F
Lake Harbour I 62°50′ 69°55′ 54 1909-1948 Archbishop L.
Fleming, Anglican
Mission.
Mills Lake I 61°16′ 118°45′ 484 1943-1944 U.S.A.A.F.
Mould Bay ITP 76°14′ 119°50′ 50 1948- Dept. of Transport
and U.S.A.A.F.
Operated jointly
by Canada and U.S.
Established by air–
life from Resolute
in April, 1948.
Radiosonde station.
Norman Wells I 65°18′ 126°51′ 270 1946-1949 Dept. of Transport
Norman Wells(A) ITP 65°17′ 126°49′ 270 1949- Dept. of Transport Observing station
maintained here by
USAAF from 1943-1946.
Nottingham Island ITP 63°7′ 77°56′ 54 1927- Dept. of Transport,
Marine Radio station
Nueltin Lake I 60°30′ 99°0′ --- 1939-1941 J.A. Crafford Some observations
in 1945 by RCAF
survey party.
Padloping Island IP 67°6′ 62°21′ 130 1941- (b) U.S.A.A.E. Continuation of
this station
recommended by
I.C.A.O.
Pangnirtung IP 66°9′ 65°30′ 43 1923- R.C.M. Police
Pond Inlet IP 72°43′ 78°30′ 13 1923- (b) R.C.M. Police
Port de
Boucherville
I 63°12′ 77°28′ -- 1884-1886 C. de Boucherville Observing station
maintained during
Hudson Straits
expedition, 1884-
1886.
Port Laperriere I 62°35′ 78°1′ -- 1884-1886 A.M. Laperriere Observing station
on Digges Island
during Hudson
Straits expedition
1884-1886.
Port Radium ITP 66°5′ 11°82′ 600 1937- (b) R.C.C.S. Station closed
1940-1942.
Providence(A) ITP 61°20′ 117°40′ 529 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Station taken over
by R.C.C.S. in 1945.
Resolute ITP 74°41′ 94°55′ 56 1947- Dept. of Transport
and U.S. Weather
Bureau
Station operated
jointly by Canada
and U.S. Radiosonde
station.
Resolution Island ITP 61°18′ 64°53′ 127 1929- Dept. of Transport
Marine Radio station
Station moved here
from Port Burwell.
Sawmill E(A) I 65°44′ 118°55′ --- 1948-1949 R.C.A.F.
Snare River II 63°30′ 116°0′ 600 1947-1948 R. Coutts and
B.F. Russell
Trout Lake I 60°45′ 121°30′ 1650 1944-1945 U.S.A.A.F.
Tuktoyaktuk IIP 69°30′ 133°0′ (a) --- 1948- Anglican Mission
Upper Frobisher(A) ITP 63°44′ 68°33′ 68 1942- U.S.A.A.F. Radiosonde station.
Operation to be taken
over by Canada in
1950.
Walker Bay I 71°30′ 117°50′ 27 1938-1939 H.B. Co. Station transferred to
Holman Island in 1939.
Wrigley(A) ITP 63°13′ 123°28′ 511 1947- R.C.C.S. Observing station
operated by USAAF
1943-1946.
Yellowknife II 62°28′ 114°20′ 515 1941-1942 A.L. Arsenault Observations taken at
Con Mine.
Yellowknife IIP 63°14′ 114°25′ --- 1943- Yellowknife Hydro
Yellowknife(A) ITP 62°28′ 114°27′ 656 1942 R.C.C.S. and Dept.
of Transport
ALBERTA
Beaverlodge ITP 55°10′ 119°19′ 2500 1926- Experimental Farm
Berwyn (Bear Lake) IIP 56°10′ 117°47′ 2000 1934- (b) H. L. Dundas Station closed 1940-
1949.
Buffalo Head
Prairie
IIP 58°10′ 116°20′ 950 1932- T.R. Smith
Daysland II 55°52′ 112°17′ 2260 1908-19 2 2 D. Davidson
(Fort ) Dunvegan II 55°56′ 118°35′ 1305 1880-1943(b) J. McDougall,
H.B. Co.
Station closed in 1888
and instruments for–
warded to Fort Vermil–
lion. Reopened in 1904
Edson II 55°33′ 116°25′ 2985 1916-1940(b) D.H. Felker
Elmworth II 55°4′ 119°40′ 2450 1926- G.S. Moyer
Embarrass(A) ITP 58°12′ 111°23′ 775 1943- U.S.A.A.F. Taken over by Canada
in 1945.
Fairview ITP 56°4′ 118°23′ 2160 1931- J.G. Bryden
Fort Chipewyan I 58°43′ 111°9′ 714 1874-1940 A. MacFarlane
H.B. Co.
Observations irregular
1874-1886. In 1885,
instruments received
from Fort Rae which
had been left by First
Intern. Polar Year
Expedition and observa–
tions begun by
Archdaecon W.D. Reeve
of Anglican Mission.
Fort McMurray I 56°44′ 111°23′ 829 1908-1944 W. Gordon Radio station esta–
blished in 1934 and
observations taken
over by RCCS.
Fort Vermilion IIP 58°23′ 116°3′ 950 1905- Rev. A.S. White ,
Anglican Mission
Instruments received
from Dunvegan in 1889,
but the prospective
observer declined to
serve without pay and
station not opened
until 1905. Observa–
tions taken at
Experimental Farm since
1908 and mission
station discontinued
in 1919.
Goodfare II 55°16′ 119°42′ 2700 1929-1933 V.J. Young
Goodwin (De Bolt) II 55°11′ 118°12′ 1600 1931-1937 (b) J. P. Grant
Grande Prairie (A) ITP 55°10′ 118°53′ 2190 1922- (b) W. H. Pearson Station closed in
1937 and reopened
by Dept. of Transport
in 1942.
Grimshaw II 56°12′ 112°36′ 2001 1945-1949 C.W. Purcell
Gronard II 55°35′ 116°9′ 1900 1884-1945 (b) W.E. Traill,
H.B. Co.
Incomplete records
1884-1896 and no
records 1896-1909.
High Prairie IIP 55°28′ 116°30′ 1968 1926- S. Harris
Keg River ITP 57°47′ 117°50′ 1402 1935- Dom. Govt.
Telegraph
Kinuso II 55°20′ 115°26′ 1928 1927-1948 Mrs. W.L. McKillop
McMurray(A) ITP 56°39′ 111°13′ 1216 1943- USAAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in Dec. 1944.
Peace River(A) ITP 56°14′ 117°26′ 1820 1949- C.P. Airlines Observations taken 1944-
1945 by USAAF.
Peace River Crossing II 56°15′ 117°15′ 1225 1907-1936 H.A. George Irregular observations
taken for few years
after 1882 by Rev.
J.G. Brink of Christ
Church Mission.
Puskwaskau IIImP 55°28′ 118°3′ 2000 1944- Alberta Forest
Service
Rycroft
(Silverwood)
II 55°46′ 118°45′ 1983 1931-1937 F.V. Platzer
Sasakatoon Mountain IIImP 55°15′ 119°21′ ---- 1942- Alberta Forest
Service
Shaftesbury II 56°6′ 117°45′ ---- 1907-1908 Miss L. Millen
Slave Lake
(Sawridge)
IIP 55°20′ 114°49′ 1905 1926- Alberta Forest
Service
South Beaver Lodge II 55°20′ 119°24′ 1400 1927-1930 V.C. Flint
Spirit River II 55°40′ 118°47′ ---- 1910-1911 A.M. Josse
Valleyview I 55°5′ 117°15′ 2419 1944-1945 USAAF
Wabasca II 56°2′ 113°0′ 1720 1934-1947 St. John’s Indian
Res. School
Wagner(A) ITP 55°21′ 114°59′ 1915 1943- USAAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in Jan. 1946.
Wembley II 55°9′ 119°8′ 2400 1926-1932 B.J. Smith
SASKATCHEWAN
Beaver River
(Ile a la Crosse)
II 55°26′ 107°44′ ---- 1929-1941 J.C. Taylor
Fond du Lac II 59°20′ 107°10′ 700 1905-1938 Rev. A. Beihler Instruments received
from Fort Chipewyan in
1905.
Island Falls ITP 55°32′ 102°21′ 982 1929- Churchill River
Power Co.
Observations taken by
USAAF 1943-1945 and by
Island Falls Community
Club after 1945.
Island Falls(2) IIP 55°35′ 102°26′ ---- 1938- Churchill River
Power Co.
Station located on
Churchill River, 13
miles from town of
Island Falls.
Island Falls(3) II 55°34′ 102°47′ ---- 1938-1944 Churchill River
Power Co.
Station located on
Churchill River 38
miles from town of
Island Falls.
Lac la Ronge II 55°8′ 105°23′ 1250 1921-1942(b) A. McKay
Pelican Narrows II 55°8′ 102°54′ ---- 1929-1930 District Forest
Inspector
Stanley Mission II 56°0′ 105°0′ ---- 1910-1940(b) Rev. J. Brown Met. Service shipped
instruments here in
1877 but no records
received until 1910.
Whitesand
(Rocky Falls)
IIP 56°20′ 103°15′ ---- 1938- Churchill River
Power Co.
MANITOBA
Berens River IIP 5 2 °18′ 97°2′ 720 1890- H.E. Plunkett,
H.B. Co.
F.A. Disbrowe, H.B. Co.
post manager took the
observations from 1908
until his death in
1943.
Brochet ITP 57°53′ 101°40′ 1180 1948- RCCS
(Fort) Churchill ITP 58°47' 94°11′ 44 1884- J.R. Spencer,
H.B. Co.
Marine Radio station
opened 1928 and took
over observations.
Danish expedition
commanded by Jens Munck
wintered here 1619-1620 .
Harbour rediscovered by
Capt. Luke Fox e in 1631.
H.B. Co., built trading
post in 1715.
Churchill(A) ITP 58°45′ 94°5′ 115 1943- USAAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in 1945.
Radiosonde station.
Duck Lake I 59°30′ 97°30′ 890 1943-1946 USAAF
Flin Flon ITP 54°45′ 101°49′ 1025 1927- Hudson Bay Mining
and Smelting Co.
Gillam ITP 56°21′ 94°46′ 454 1943- USAAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in July 1945.
God’s Lake I 54°50′ 94°50′ 610 1933-1944 Canadian Airways
Herb Lake II 54°45′ 99°30′ 800 1924-1927 F.W. Robinson
Hillview II 59°55′ 100°33′ 1400 1912-1921 H. Stevenson
Little Grand Rapids I 51°35′ 95°15′ 998 1939-1944 R. Finch
Nelson House II 55°49′ 98°57′ ---- 1937-1939 H. Thiboutot
Norway House I 53°59′ 97°50′ 720 1884-1945(b) J.G. Christie,
H.B. Co.
Oxford House II 54°55′ 96°28′ 350 ----- ----- Abstract of early H.B.
Co. temperature records
given in Influence of
Climate by J.
Disturnell, 1866.
Pakitawagan II 55°50′ 101°40′ ---- 1924-1926 Rev, J.T.A.
Renaud
Poplar River Post II 52°58′ 97°20′ (a) ---- 1888-1889 H.B. Co.
Port Nelson I 57°0′ 92°51′ 49 1915-1929 A Sutherland
H.B. Co.
Observing station trans–
ferred here from York
Factory in 1915.
Split Lake II 56°11′ 96°11′ ---- 1911-1913 C.A. Fox
The Pas ITP 53°49′ 101°15′ 890 1910- G. Halcrow
The Pas(A) ITP 53°58′ 101°6′ 894 1943- USSAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in Sept.
1945. Radiosonde
station.
Wabowden ITP 54°54′ 98°28′ 764 1943- USAAF Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in Oct. 1945.
Wanless IIP 54°11′ 101°22′ 855 1935- R. W. Allen
York Factory I 57°0′ 92°26′ 85 1772-1915(b) T. Hutchins
H.B. Co.
Observations taken by
T. Hutchins of H.B. Co.
1772-1773. Observa–
tions taken by H.B. Co.
1842-1854, 1864-1868
and 1876-1883 are
summarized in Report of
the Hudson’s Bay Expedi–
tion 1884-1886 by A.R.
Gordon. Observing
station transferred to
Port Nelson in 1915.
ONTARIO
Fort Albany II 52°12′ 82°5′ ----- 1878-1881 H.B. Co. Returns received via
Moose Factory.
Fort Hope II 51°33′ 87°49′ 1100 1891-1924(b) D. Baxter,
H.B. Co.
All instruments burned
in 1893 and station
closed until 1900.
Lansdowne House ITP 52°14′ 88°0′ 840 19 4 1- H.B. Co. Observations taken over
by Dept. of Transport
in 1945.
Marten’s Falls II 51°30′ 86°30′ ---- 1894-1900 J.G. Christie,
H.B. Co.
Christie moved to
Fort Hope in 1900 and
took instruments there.
Some observations taken
in 1878-1880 by J.
Clark, of H.B. Co.
Moose Factory I 51°14′ 80°30′ 29 1877-1938(b) J.R. Nason,
H.B. Co.
Station closed in 1938
since observations
were being taken in
town of Moosonee.
Moosonee ITP 51°16′ 80°39′ 34 1932- Proprietor of
James Bay Inn.
Radiosonde station.
Pickle Lake ITP 51°28′ 90°15′ 1245 1938- C.P. Airlines Observations taken for
two months in 1930 by
F. Stapleton.
Rat Rapids IIP 51°8′ 90°1′ 1180 1934- Hydro-Electric
Power Commission.
Red Lake ITP 51°2′ 93°50′ 1250 1938- C.P. Airlines Some observations
taken in 1930 by A.E.
Crump.
Swains Lake II 51°17′ 93°20′ 1298 1933-34 R.E. Wright
Trout Lake ITP 53°50′ 89°52′ 720 1915- (b) John Gregg,
H.B. Co.
Station closed 1930-
1939. H.B. Co. re–
summed observations in
1939 and Dept. of
Transport took them
over in 1945.
Woman Lake II 51°11′ 92°51′ 1282 1934-1937 L.E. Nelson Instruments transferred
from Swains Lake in
1934.
QUEBEC
Clarke City I 50°12′ 66°38′ 186 1902-1947 F.N. Ritchie
Dolbeau I 48°48′ 72°20′ 413 1930-1938 J.E. Morin
Fort Chimo(A) ITP 58°5′ 68°25′ 112 1882- (b) L.M. Turner,
Smithsonian Inst.
Observations taken
irregularly by H.B. Co.,
employees 1885-1941.
USAAF operated observ–
ing station from 1942
on. To be taken over
by Dept. of Transport
in 1950. Radiosonde
station.
Fort George IIP 53°50′ 79°5′ 320 1915- (b) O. Griffith Station closed 1944-48.
Fort McKenzie ITP 56°63′ 69°3′ 250 1938- J.A. Heslop,
H.B. Co.
Station taken over by
Dept. of Transport in
1942.
Great Whale River ITP 55°17′ 77°46′ 50 1925- (b) L.G. Maver,
H.B. Co.
Some observations taken
in 1881 by H.B. Co.
received via Moose
Factory. Observations
1888-1889 by G.A.
Young on Yacht Alle.
Station closed 1945-
1946.
Greenly Island II 51°22′ 57°12′ --- 1882-1889 ------ Sundial taken in by
Stupart in 1883.
Harrington Harbour ITP 50°32′ 59°30′ 25 1911- Miss Maud Cox Observations at Gren–
fell Mission 1936-
1944. Taken over by
Dept. of Transport in
1944.
(Cape) Hope’s
Advance
ITP 61°5′ 69°33′ 240 1928- (b) Dept. of Transport,
Marine Radio
Station operated
summers only from
1934-1940; closed
1940-1942. One of
Canadian bases during
Second International
Polar Year. Wind of
132 mph recorded in
Dec. 1931.
Indian House Lake ITP 56°2′ 64°44′ 1044 1944- I ( b) U.S.A.A.F. Taken over by Dept. of
Transport in 1948.
Continuation of this
station recommended
by ICAO. Station
closed 1946-7.
Knob Lake ITP 54°49′ 66°41′ 1550 1948- Hollinger Mining
Co.
Lake Dore
(Chibougamau)
ITP 49°54′ 74°18′ 1234 1936- Obalski Mining
Corp.
Lake Manuan ITP 50°38′ 70°32′ 1625 1942- Aluminum Co. of
Canada
Lake Norman I 52°0′ 63°20′ 1520 1942-1945 Quebec Airways
Lake Onistagan II 50°45′ 71°25′ ---- 1944-1945 A. Robert
Mecatina
(Morhiban)
ITP 51°50′ 62°53′ 1720 1943- (b) USAAF USAAF evacuated in
1946. Reopened by
Dept. of Transport in
1948.
Mingan(A) ITP 50°17′ 64°9′ 76 1943- USAAF To be taken over by
Dept. of Transport in
1950. Radiosonde
equipment from Mingan
to be transferred to
Seven Islands in 1950.
Mistassini Post IIP 50°30′ 73°55′ 1255 1879- (b) H.B. Co. Observations irregular
from 1879-1915.
Natashquan ITP 50°12′ 61°49′ 18 1914- Rev. Father
L. Garnier
A storm signal station
was established here
in 1907.
Nitchequon ITP 53°12′ 70°35′ 1690 1942- Dept. of
Transport
Radiosonde station.
Passe N D angereuse IIP 49°53′ 71°16′ ---- 1942- Aluminum Co. of
Canada
Pentecote II 49°47′ 67°9′ ---- 1936-1938 B. Fleming
Piaster Bay II 50°17′ 62°49′ ---- 1892 E. Werner
Port Burwell I 60°25′ 64°51′ ---- 1884-1934(b) H.M. Burwell Observing station
during Hudson Bay
Expedition 1884-1886.
Observations begun by
RCM Police in 1929.
Eskimo settlement
called Killinek nearby.
Settlement unoccupied
since 1940.
Port Harrison ITP 58°27′ 78°8′ 66 1921 L.A. Learmonth Some observations
during 1901 by G.A.
Young on Yacht Alle.
Radiosonde station.
Seven Islands(A) ITP 50°13′ 66°16′ 190 1944- Dept. of
Transport
Stupart’s Bay I 61°35′ 71°32′ ---- 1884-1886 R.F. Stupart Observing station
during Hudson Bay
expedition 1884-1886.
Tabouret II 50°18′ 68°34′ 2000 1937 L. Vaillencourt
Wakeham Bay I 61°42′ 71°58′ ---- 1927-1928 Dept. of Trans–
port Marine Radio
Station moved to Hope’s
aAdvance in 1928.
LABRADOR
Amour Point
(Forteau)
I 51°28′ 56°51′ 40 1876-1936 P. Godier Lighthouse station.
Ashuanipi ITP 52°32′ 66°14′ 1790 1948- Hollinger
Mining Co.
Battle Harbour IIP 52°17′ 55°25′ 30 1893- (b) Dr. Babardt Station closed in 1900
and instruments sent
to North-West River.
Reopened 1947.
Bello Isle ITP 51°53′ 55°22′ 426 1871- M. Colton Lighthouse station.
Cape Harrison ITP 54°44′ 58°19′ 65 1943- USAAF
Cartwright ITP 53°42′ 57°0′ 34 1934- Can. Marconi Co.
Davis Inlet II 55°52′ 60°50′ -- 1902 S. Cotter, H.B.
Co.
Goose (Bay) (A) ITFP 53°20′ 60°25′ 144 1941- Dept. of
Transport
Radiosonde station.
Constructed to aid
wartime North Atlantic
flying. Since a
similar air base in
Newfoundland was named
Gander, this station
was named Goose.
Hebron IIP 58°12′ 63°37′ 50 1883- (b) Moravian Mission Observing station
operated by USAAF
1942-1946.
Hopedale ITP 55°27′ 60°14′ 35 1867- (b) Moravian Mission Observations by
Canadian Marconi Co.
since 1942.
Nain IIP 56°33′ 61°41′ 14 1883- (b) Moravian Mission For a long time Nain
was the seat of the
Moravian Bishop of
Labrador and the
German Consul.
North West River I 53°3′ 60°10′ 12 1900-1942(b) S. Cotter,
H.B. Co.
Nutak IIP 57°28′ 60°50′ 5 1947- Dept. of Natural
Resources, Nfld.
Okkak II 57°34′ 62°3′ 20 1776-1889(b) Moravian Mission Settlement ravaged by
influenza in 1918 and
survivors formed a new
community called Nutak
a few miles to the
south on the same
island.
Ramah II 58°53′ 62°21′ 10 1872-1889(b) Moravian Mission
Rigolet II 54°8′ 57°12′ 40 1857-1863(b) H.B. Co.
Sandgirt Lake I 53°50′ 65°30′ 1485 1937-1948(b) Labrador Mining &
Exploration Co.
Operated by Dept. of
Transport after 1942.
Skynner Cove I 59°10′ 63°20′ ---- 1884-1886 W. Skynner Observations during
Hudson Bay Expedition
1884-1885.
Zoar II 56°7′ 61°22′ 40 1883-1902 Moravian Mission
Arctic Expeditions in Which the Canadian Meteorological Service Participated
1. Lieut. J.H. Lefroy’s Journey to the North-West, 1843-4 . - After the
Magnetic Observatory had been established in Canada in 1839, Colonel Sabine
and Sir John Herschel, Bart, persuaded the Royal Society to sanction a
magnetic survey of British possessions in North America. This survey was
undertaken by Lieut. J.H. Lefroy who had been placed in charge of the obser–
vatory at Toronto in 1841. The survey covered a route which extended from
Montreal to Hudson Bay and as far north as Fort Good Hope. The survey party
travelled by means of canoe transport provided by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Lieut. Lefroy and his assistant took magnetic and meteo–
rological observations at each stopping place. Frequently, during periods
of magnetic disturbance, observations were taken at two-minute intervals
for hours at a time.
The most important halting points on Lefroy’s journey are
given below.
April 30, 1843 Departure from Lachine
May 20 Sault de Ste. Marie
June 19 Rat Portage
June 28 Fort Garry (Winnipeg)
July 12 Norway House
July 23 York Factory
Aug. 20 The Pas
Sept. 9-11 Isle a la Crosse
Sept. 23, 1843 to March 5, 1844 Fort Chipewyan
A temporary observatory was built at Fort Chipewyan.
March 26 - May 25, 1844 Fort Simpson
May 29 Fort Good Hope
Lefroy had supposed Fort Good Hope to be just within the
Arctic Circle and was keenly disappointed when he later learned that its
latitude was only 66° 16′ N. Lefroy started south from Fort Good Hope on
May 31, 1844, and arrived back at Montreal on November 25 after retracing
much of his former route.
The original account of Lefroy’s journey may be found in Sir
Henry Lefroy’s Autobiography published in 1895. A part of this autobiography
was reprinted in Trans. Roy. Soc. of Canada, 1938, edited by W.S. Wallace.
2. The First International Polar Year, 1882-83 . - In 1875, Lieut. Karl
Weyprecht of Austria brought forward the suggestion that the value of
scientific observations in polar regions could be increased considerably
if such observations were taken simultaneously at many stations. Lieut.
Weyprecht died shortly thereafter but his ideas stimulated international
scientific thought and an International Polar Commission was formed to
study the question further.
The Commission recommended that an International Polar Year
be held from August 1882 to August 1883, and twelve countries agreed to take
part by establishing an observing station in the Arctic of Antarctic for this
period. The countries represented were, in alphabetical order, Austria,
Denmark, England and Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Norway,
Russia, Sweden and the United States.
In 1880, Charles Carpmael, the Director of the Meteorological
Service, was approached by Dr. F. Wild of St. Petersburg, Russia, the
president of the International Polar Commission, to obtain the co-operation
of Canada during the International Polar Year. In view of the benefits which
Canada would derive from such a scheme, the proposal was heartily endorsed
by the Meteorological Service. The Department of Marine and Fisheries was
unable to recommend the expenditure for the establishment of an Arctic
station by Canada, but an agreement was made with Great Britain whereby
Great Britain supplied the staff and equipment to operate a station at
Fort Rae, N.W.T., (lat. 62° 40′ N, long. 115° 45′ W) and the costs of trans–
portation were shared by Canada. A sum of $5000 was voted by the Canadian
Government for this purpose.
The expedition to Fort Rae was under the command of Captain
Dawson, R.A. Meteorological and magnetic observations were taken every hour
night and day. On the first and fifteenth of each month, observations were
taken every five minutes, and for one full hour on each of these days,
every 20 seconds, to determine minor variations in the magnetic elements.
Other stations which were maintained in the Canadian Arctic
during the First Polar Year were located at Fort Conger on North Ellesmere
Island (lat. 81° 44′ long. 64° 45′ W) and at Kingua Fjord, Cumberland
Sound, Baffin Island (lat. 66° 36′ N, long. 67° 20′ W). The station at Fort
Conger was established by the United States and that at Kingua Fjord by
Germany. The results of these expeditions were published in the following
works.
Great Britain - Observations of the International Polar Year Expeditions,
1882-83, Fort Rae.
United States - International Polar Expedition, Report of the Proceedings of
the United States Expedition to Lady Franklin Bay, Grinnell
Land, Vols. 1 and 2, by Lieut. A.W. Greely. Washington, 1888.
Germany - Die Internationale Polarforschung 1882-1883, Die Beobachtungs
Ergebnisse der Deutschen Stationen, Band 1, Kingua-Fjord. Berlin, 1886.
3. Hudson Bay Expeditions, 1884-5-6 . - An expedition was organized by the
Department of Marine and Fisheries in 1884 to determine for what period of the
year navigation is possible in Hudson Strait. The expedition was under the
command of Lieut. A.R. Gordon, R.N., who was the assistant-director of the
Meteorological Service. Observing stations were established on both shores of
Hudson Strait and meteorological observations as well as observations of ice
conditions were taken for a two-year period.
The expedition left Halifax on July 22, 1884, in the S.S. Neptune,
a former sealing vessel which had been chartered by the Department of Marine
and Fisheries. The first station was established on August 5 on the north–
western shore of Cape Chidley (lat. 60° 25′ N, long. 64° 51′ W) and named
Port Burwell after the observer, H.M. Burwell, who was appointed to that
station.
A site for the second station was chosen at Ashe Inlet on the
north shore of Hudson Strait (lat. 62° 33′ N, long. 70° 35′ W), named after
the observer, W.A. Ashe.
The third station was located on the south shore of the Strait
at a spot named Stupart’s Bay after the observer R.F. Stupart (lat. 61° 35′ N,
long. 71° 32′ W). It had been considered advisable that in addition to the
meteorological observations taken at the various stations, a series of magnetic
readings should be taken at one of them. Since Mr. Stupart had had several
years’ experience in magnetic work, he was selected to take charge of one of
the stations and carry out this work. The magnetic instruments were the same
ones that had been used by Captain Dawson at Fort Rae and were loaned to the
expedition by Mr. G.M. Whipple, Director of the Kew Observatory, London, England.
The fourth station was established at Port de Boucherville on
Nottingham Island (lat. 63° 12′ N. long. 77° 28′ W) with C.V. de Boucherville
in charge. From Nottingham Island the vessel proceeded to Churchill where
arrangements were made with J.R. Spencer of the Hudson’s Bay Company to take
meteorological observations.
On the return journey from Churchill, a fifth station was put in
at Port Laperriere on Digges Island, (lat. 62° 35′ N, long. 78° 1′W), with
A.N. Laperriere in charge. It had been planned to locate the sixth and last
station on Resolution Island but a suitable anchorage could not be found and
this plan was abandoned. The station was established at Skynner Cove in
Nachvak Bay instead, (lat. 59° 10′N, long. 63° 20′W), with W. Skynner in
charge. All the stations were maintained for the second year, 1885-6, with
the exception of Skynner Cove.
The expeditions in 1885 and 1886 were made in the S.S. Alert
which had been specially rebuilt for the Arctic expedition of 1876 under the
command of Sir George Nares. Her Majesty’s Government refitted the Alert to assist in the rescue of the expedition commanded by Lieut. Greenly during the
First Polar Year. When Greely’s expedition has been rescued, the Alert was
handed over to the Canadian Government. The station which was established
on North Ellesmere Island in the spring of 1950 was named after this ship.
An account of these expeditions is given in Report of the Hudson’s
Bay Expedition under the Command of Lieut. A.R. Cordon, R.N., 1884-5-6,
Canadian Government Reports.
4. Second International Polar Year, 1932-33 . - The International Polar Year
1932-33, was organized by the International Meteorological Conference of
Directors at Copenhagen in 1929 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the
Polar Year 1882-83. The object was to establish as many stations as possible
in the polar regions where meteorological, magnetic and auroral observations
could be made. A period of operation extending from August 1, 1932 to
August 31, 1933 was agreed upon.
It was hoped that as many as possible of the stations which
were in operation during the First Polar Year could be re-activated. Great
Britain requested, and was granted, permission to re-occupy the station at
Fort Rae. Canada undertook to maintain three special stations at Chesterfield
Inlet, Cape Hope’s Advance and Coppermine, and to provide additional equipment
to the permanent magnetic station at Meanook, Alberta.
The station at Chesterfield Inlet, (lat. 63° 20′N, long. 90° 42′W),
was the principal Canadian station. It was fully equipped for taking continuous records of terrestrial magnetism, meteorological elements, earth potentials,
atmospheric potential gradient, earth temperatures and photographic and visual
auroral observations. A secondary magnetic and auroral observing station was
maintained 20 miles south of the main base.
The station was in charge of F.T. Davies, B.Sc., M.Sc., of the
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institute in Washington.
He had personal charge of the magnetic programme, and through his past
experience as a member of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition 1928-30, he was able
to obtain very complete records of the magnetic elements in a region where
they are greatly disturbed most of the time.
The station at Coppermine (lat. 67° 49′N, long. 115° 5′W) was
in charge of R.C. Jacobsen, M.A., of Toronto. It was the most northerly of the
Canadian stations and the chief meteorological station. A full programme of
meteorological observations was carried out which consisted of the regular
surface observations, continuous records of temperature at the top of a 100-feet
mast and on the ground, as well as kite and balloon observations.
The upper air work included experiments with newly-developed
Moltchanoff radiosonde instruments which were provided by the International
Commission for the Polar Year as a gift from the Rockefeller Foundation. This
was the first time that such an instrument was used in North America.
The station at Cape Hope’s Advance (lat. 61° 5′N, long. 69° 33′W)
was in charge of J.E. Lilly, B.Sc., M.A. The work at this station consisted of
surface weather and pilot balloon observations as well as visual and photographic
auroral observations.
Canadian Government radio stations were in operation at the
above-named three stations prior to the Polar Year, and valuable assistance
in carrying out the observational programme was given by the radio operators.
The results of the British and Canadian expeditions are published in the
following reports.
Great Britain - British Polar Year Expedition, Fort Rae, 1932-33, The Royal
Society, London. 1937.
Canada - Polar Year Expeditions, 1932-33. Dom. Govt. Printing Office,
Ottawa. 1939.
5. Establishment of Arctic Stations Jointly by Canada and the United States ,
1947-50 . - The establishment of a network of weather stations on the
Canadian Arctic islands is of great benefit not only to the Canadian Meteoro–
logical Service but to the United States Weather Bureau as well. In view of
their community of interest in such a project, Canada and the United States
entered upon an agreement in 1946 whereby they would jointly staff and operate
a series of weather stations in the Canadian Arctic.
The first of these joint Arctic stations was established in
April, 1947, at Slidre Fjord on Ellesmere Island (lat. 80° 13′N, long. 86° 11′W).
The station was named Eureka. The transport of men and supplies to the station
at Eureka was accomplished entirely by air. This marked the first time that
such an operation was attempted in Canada, and since it proved successful,
the same method was used later in the establishment of other Arctic stations.
The airlift was carried out from Thule, Greenland, where a
weather station and airstrip had been constructed jointly by Denmark and the
United States in 1946. The preliminary landings at Eureka were made on the sea
ice by ski-equipped aircraft carrying small bulldozers. The bulldozers were
used to level the snowdrifts over the landing area and the remainder of the
airlift was completed by four-motored transport aircraft with wheel landing gear.
The second station was established at Resolute Bay on Cornwallis
Island (lat. 74° 41′N, long. 94° 55′W) in September, 1947, by sea transport.
Original plans had called for this station to be located at Winter Harbour on
Melville Island but this proved to be impractical owing to unusually severe
ice conditions in Melville Sound.
Resolute Bay was considered to be the best alternate site for the
following reasons: (a) it offered excellent possibilities for airstrip construc–
tion; (b) it is situated near the centre of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago;
(c) it is accessible by cargo ship during the summer. The airstrip site was an
important factor since it was intended that this station serve as an operating
base for the support of further Arctic activities.
Two additional stations were established by airlift from Resolute
in April, 1948. The first, named Isachsen, is located on Ellef Ringnes Island,
(lat. 78° 47′N, long. 103° 32′W), and the second, named Mould Bay, is located
on Price Patrick Island (lat. 76° 14′N, long. 119° 50′W).
A fifth joint Arctic weather station, named Alert, was established
on the north shore of Ellesmere Island by airlift from Thule, Greenland, in
April, 1950.
Climate of Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada
The Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Canada include a
vast area which extends over 35 degrees of latitude and 85 degrees of
longitude, an area which is comparable to that of the continent of Europe.
In order to discuss the climate of a region of this size, it is advantageous
to divide it into a number of sections such that places in the same sub–
division will have somewhat similar climates.
It should be kept in mind that observational data is very
meagre for most parts of the Arctic, and consequently, the climatic means
for many of the stations will require some revision as further data become
available. Moreover, the stations from which observations have been received
are nearly all coastal stations, and their climatic conditions are not
necessarily representative of the climate of the interiors of the islands,
especially the larger ones. The records from the various stations are,
strictly-speaking, not directly comparable since they do not extend over the
same periods of time. The years of record for each station are given in the
climatic tables.
The climate of any locality is influenced by many factors.
The chief climatic controls are latitude, nature of terrain and relative
distribution of land and water. For the regions under consideration, the
most important of these controls is the relative distribution of land and
water or ice as the case may be.
In order to understand the reasons for some of the climatic
differences between the eastern and western sections of the Arctic, it is necessary to consider the broad pattern of the general circulation of the
atmosphere. An examination of mean winter pressure charts for the Northern
Hemisphere will reveal that there is a vast high pressure area over most of
the Canadian Arctic flanked by low pressure areas over the Aleutian Islands
to the west and over Davis Strait to the east. The high pressure area does
not remain limited within fixed boundaries, but throughout the winter, surges
of polar air occur at intervals which travel southward along the Mackenzie
Valley and project Arctic conditions as far as the Prairie Provinces and the
mid-western States. On the other hand, cyclonic storms which form over
eastern Canada and the United States tend to move northeastward towards the
semi-permanent trough of low pressure over Davis Strait.
This movement of high and low pressure areas is indicated
in the general statement that during the winter, the western parts of the
Arctic are colder and less stormy than the eastern parts. The mean pressure
distribution also causes the average winter surface air flow in the Arctic
Islands to be from north-northwest to south-southeast.
During the summer months, the well-marked pressure
distribution of the winter becomes less pronounced and pressure gradients
are comparatively weak. In this period, the weather in the Arctic is
in fluenced by weak disturbances which develop along the Polar Front, the
boundary line between air masses of tropical origin and those of polar origin.
The mean summer position of this front lies across Alaska and northern Canada
near the Arctic Circle.
As a first approximation, sub-Arctic and Arctic Canada
may be divided into eight climatic regions. These regions, whose boundaries
are shown on the accompanying chart, have been arbitrarily named as follows:
(1) Northern Islands, (2) Southwestern Islands, (3) Eastern Arctic,
(4) Hudson Bay and Strait, (5) Labrador Coast, (6) Mackenzie Valley,
(7) Barren Lands, (8) Laurentian Plateau. It may be noted that the southern
boundary of sub-Arctic Canada lies near the isotherm which passes through
points with a mean annual temperature of 32°F. The southern limit of
permafrost, i.e., permanently frozen sub-soil, as given by J.L. Jenness, is
also shown on the chart.
Northern Islands . - The most well-known feature of the climate of Arctic
regions is the fact that temperatures are consistently low and the winters
exceptionally severe. The hardships and suffering from cold and scurvy of
the earliest Arctic expeditions gave the Arctic a reputation, which is not
entirely deserved, of possessing an unendurable winter climate. These
hardships were overcome by later expeditions with the use of better heating
equipment, insulated quarters and proper diet. For example, in 1819-20,
Parry’s men were in perfect health after spending the winter at Melville
Island.
The climate of this region is essentially a modified
maritime type. Although it is true that the polar seas are frozen over for
nearly three-quarters of the year, there is sufficient radiation through the
ice from the comparatively warm water below to exert a moderating influence. Thus the extreme low temperature for any point in this region is rarely
lower than −60°F whereas temperatures 20 degrees colder than this have been
experienced in the Mackenzie Valley.
Average winter temperatures are consistently low, the
lowest that are to be found anywhere in the Canadian Arctic. For seven
months of the year, from October to April, mean monthly temperatures are
below zero over the entire region. As a matter of fact, from November 11,
1948, to April 27, 1949, the temperature at Eureka rose above zero on only
three occasions.
During the brief summer period, the ice-filled polar waters
with a surface temperature near 30°F prevent the air in contact with them
from warming up to any great extent. Moreover, an incursion of warm air from
the south is cooled rapidly in its lower layers by contact with the cold
water. As a result, summer temperatures are low and maximum temperatures as
high as 60°F have not been recorded at many stations. Mean summer temperatures
throughout the region show little variation from year to year and the average
temperature of the warmest month, July, is generally near 40°F.
The sun is above the horizon continuously in mid-summer
and below the horizon for a corresponding period in mid-winter. Consequently,
it is only during the spring and fall months that a diurnal range of
temperature from a minimum near sunrise to a maximum in the afternoon is
appreciable. During the summer and winter, changes in temperature arise
mainly from changes of air mass, the occurrence or dissipation of fog or cloud,
the local effect of falling precipitation or changes in wind speed or direction.
A consideration of temperatures alone would indicate
that there are only two seasons in the Northern Islands, ten cold months
and two cool ones. Frost may occur in any month but temperatures do not
remain consistently below freezing until September. Mean temperatures in
September are well below freezing, with 16°F at Isachsen, 21°F at Eureka
and 23°F at Resolute. Average temperatures continue to drop rapidly from
October on, reaching −30°F to −40°F by January. The mean temperature levels
off in February although the extreme low temperatures are usually experienced
in late February or early March.
The lowest average temperatures for February are found
on northern Ellesmere Island with Eureka reporting −41°F and Fort Conger
−40°F. Although both of these means have been derived from a series of
observations extending over less than three years, it is probable that they
are representative of conditions in this area and that the “cold pole” for
North America is to be found in this vicinity.
In March, temperatures begin to rise gradually as the
sun’s elevation increase, but above-freezing temperatures are not common
until the beginning of June. An indication of the temperature regime over
the Northern Islands may be obtained from the following table.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Eureka Fort Conger Isachsen Mould Bay Resolute Winter Harbour
Lat. (°N) 80°13′ 81°44′ 78°47′ 76°14′ 74°41′ 74°47′
Long. (°W) 86°11′ 64°45′ 103°32′ 119°50′ 94°55′ 110°48′
Years of
Record
1947-1949 1881-1883 1948-1949 1948-1949 1947-1949 1819-20, 1908-09
Jan. −37 −38 −37 −32 −28 −30
Feb. −41 −40 −29 −31 −35 −31
Mar. −31 −28 −27 −20 −26 −16
Apr. −20 −14 −20 −11 −11 −12
May 13 14 12 11 12 17
June 38 33 31 29 33 33
July 43 37 38 38 41 42
Aug. 38 34 34 34 38 33
Sept. 21 16 16 18 23 19
Oct. −3 −9 −3 0 7 0
Nov. −20 −24 −16 −17 −6 −19
Dec. −41 −28 −37 −28 −21 −29
Year −3 −4 −3 −1 2 1
Range 84 77 75 70 76 73
Highest 66 53 64 57 59 60
Lowest −63 −63 −55 −63 −55 −56
Annual precipitation over this region is low,
generally less than five inches per year, which is less than that over the
driest parts of the Prairie Provinces. In order to arrive at the figures
for total annual precipitation, the amount of snowfall has been converted
to equivalent rain on the assumption that ten inches of snow are equivalent
in water content to one inch of rain. It should be noted that this method
of conversion, which is the standard procedure in the Meteorological
Service, is a close approximation in temperate climates where the snow is
soft and fluffy. On the other hand, in the Arctic the snow crystals are
similar to grains of sand and a conversion factor of [: ] four or five inches
of snow to one inch of rain would be closer to the truth.
Contrary to popular opinion, snowfall in the Arctic is
relatively light during the winter since air temperatures are so low that
the amount of precipitable water vapour in the air is extremely small. In
open country, the snow on the ground is rarely over 12 inches deep and the
ground is bare in many spots. However, deep compact drifts are formed around
obstacles and in valleys. These drifts are so hard-packed that tractors can
be driven over them.
Common phenomena during the winter are the storms of
blowing snow which occur on the average about once every two weeks. The
snow crystals are quite small and when the wind increases to more than
15 m.p.h., the snow particles begin to be carried aloft. If the wind is
higher than 40 m.p.h., the visibility is reduced to near zero in blowing
snow.
The heaviest snowfalls occur in May and September,
and about one-half of the total annual snowfall may be expected in these
two months. The snow becomes soft towards the end of May although the
amount of melting is slight until the beginning of June. Once the
melting process has started, the snow disappears very rapidly and the
islands are snow-free by the end of June except in isolated areas such as
ravines or high terrain.
Snow may fall even in the warmest months but it does
not remain on the ground until September. The precipitation during July
and August is chiefly in the form of light rain or drizzle. The station
which reports the lowest annual precipitation is Eureka, with a mean
total of 1.62 inches according to a limited series of observations. In
temperate zones, an annual total of this magnitude is found only in desert
regions.
The mean monthly amounts of rain and snow and the
total annual precipitation at various stations in this region are given
in the following table.
Mean Monthly Rain and Snowfall in Inches and
Mean Annual Total Precipitation Converted to Inches of Rain
Eureka Fort Conger Isachsen Mould Bay Resolute Winter Harbour
Lat. (°N) 80°13′ 81°44′ 78°47′ 76°14′ 74°41′ 74°47′
Long. (°W) 86°11′ 64°45′ 103°32′ 119°50′ 94°55′ 110°48′
Years of
Record
1947-1949 1881-1883 1948-1949 1948-1949 1947-1949 1908-09
R S R S R S R S R S R S
Jan. 0 1.1 0.42 0 1.4 0 0.4 0 0.4 0.89
Feb. 0 0.6 0.13 0 0.2 0 0.5 0 1.2 0.79
Mar. 0 1.4 0.44 0 0.7 0 1.2 0 1.6 0.93
Apr. 0 0.1 0.17 0 0.5 0 0.4 0 1.0 0.43
May 0 2.0 0.40 0 4.6 0 1.0 0 8.0 1.08
June 0.01 0.1 0.18 trace 2.0 0.06 2.5 0.56 2.0 0.04
July 0.27 0 0.66 0.49 0.7 1.04 0.2 1.10 0.7 --
Aug. 0.23 0.6 0.38 0.47 0.3 0.25 1.6 0.62 1.7 --
Sept. 0 2.8 0.35 0 7.7 trace 4.7 0.32 7.4 0.94
Oct. 0 1.0 0.24 0 2.7 0 1.2 0.01 5.2 0.38
Nov. 0 1.0 0.20 0 4.1 0 0.6 0 2.4 0.32
Dec. 0 0.4 0.30 0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.5 0.14
Year 1.62 3.88 3.46 2.79 5.82 Incomplete
Winter is normally the period of clear weather over
the Arctic Archipelago. Any clouds which occur are mainly of the ice
crystal type for frontal systems are usually far to the south. This clear
weather lasts until April when the cloudiness begins to increase, reaching
a maximum in May or June. The mean cloud amount decreases in July but
increases again to a secondary maximum in August or September. The
cloudiness of winter. It may be noted that Arctic cloud conditions, which
are characterized by a summer maximum and a winter minimum, are just the
reverse of those which occur in temperate latitude s .
The summer cloud cover consists almost entirely of a
shallow deck of low stratus whose base is often lower than 500 feet. As
the air blows over the icy waters, its lower layers are near saturation.
When this air is forced to rise over any obstacle such as the shore of an
island, the slight amount of additional cooling is sufficient to lower the
temperature of the air below its de w point, which results in the formation
of fog and low cloud. The amount of summer cloudiness may be judged from
the fact that in August 1948, there were only 48 hours of sunshine at
Resolute out of a possible 662 hours. This is undoubtedly an extreme case
but it serves as an illustration.
Fog in the Archipelago occurs most frequently during
the period of open water in the same manner as the low cloud. Since this
type of fog is essentially a coastal phenomenon, it is possible that the
interiors of the larger islands may be comparatively fog-free with the exception of some radiation fog.
Ice crystal fog is common during the winter in periods
of light winds. However, this type of fog is rarely very thick, and during
a two-year period at Resolute, the visibility in ice crystal fog was seldom
reduced to less than one mile. Another type of winter fog known as “Arctic
sea smoke” occurs over leads of open water and is usually limited in extent
to the immediate vicinity of the open water.
Broadly speaking, the number of foggy days per year in
the coastal areas of the Archipelago is about 15-25, of which approximately
75% occur during the three months June, July and August. Short term records
from the stations at Isachsen and Mould Bay would seem to indicate that the
frequency of fog is somewhat greater in the islands bordering on the Arctic
Ocean, possibly as high as 40 days per year.
Sea ice begins to form in sheltered bays in mid–
September and the open sea is frozen over in October except for occasional
leads which may occur throughout the winter. The new ice increases at a
relatively constant rate of about one foot per month from November to March.
The rate of ice growth falls off as the sun’s elevation increases, and a
maximum thickness of about seven feet on the average is reached in early
June. Much greater thickness of sea ice may occur where the edges of leads
are forced together by winds or currents to form towering pressure ridges.
Southwestern Islands . - This region includes the islands of Banks, Victoria
and King William which are located near the continental shoreline. The
temperature regime is similar to that over the Northern Islands. However, some latitudinal control is evident in the fact that mean winter
temperatures are of the order of 10°F higher than those in the Northern
Islands although extreme low temperatures are much the same.
Extreme maximum summer temperatures are considerably
higher than any recorded in the Northern Islands; for example, 78°F at
Holman Island and 76°F at Cambridge Bay. Even higher temperatures have no
doubt been experienced in the interior of Banks and Victoria Islands.
These comparatively high temperatures result from the fact that the islands
can be reached by incursions of warm air from the south with very little
modification. However, it is interesting to note the effect of a body of
water as narrow as Coronation Gulf, for an extreme high temperature of 87°F
has been recorded at Coppermine, 11°F higher than that at Cambridge Bay on
the opposite shore of the gulf.
Monthly and annual mean temperatures are given in the
following table for the only two stations in this region from which records
are available.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Cambridge Bay Holman Island
Lat. (°N) 69° 7′ 70° 30′
Long. (°W) 105° 1′ 117° 38′
Years of Record 1928-29, 1935-38
1940-50
1940-50
Jan. −25 −17
Feb. −28 −20
Mar. −19 −13
Apr. −7 1
May 15 22
June 35 38
July 47 46
Aug. 45 43
Sept. 31 32
Oct. 12 18
Nov. −9 −1
Dec. −26 −12
Year 6 11
Range 75 66
Highest 76 78
Lowest −63 −48
The mean annual precipitation is between five and
eight inches, about double the average over the Northern Islands. This
is mainly because of a greater amount of snowfall which is distributed
throughout the year with a minimum during the months of July and August
and a maximum in October or November. An indication of the annual
precipitation regime may be obtained from the following values for Cambridge
Bay and Holman Island.
Mean Monthly Rain and Snowfall in Inches and
Mean Annual, Total Precipitation Converted to Inches of Rain
Cambridge Bay Holman Island
Lat. (°N) 69° 7′ 70° 30′
Long. (°W) 105° 1′ 117° 38′
Years of Record 1928-29, 1935-38, 1940-50 1940-50
R S R S
Jan. 0 3.1 0 2.1
Feb. 0 1.8 0 3.8
Mar. 0 2.2 0 4.2
Apr. 0 1.8 0 3.3
May 0.01 2.9 0.02 4.1
June 0.18 2.9 0.22 1.0
July 0.81 0.1 0.75 0
Aug. 0.86 trace 1.46 1.5
Sept. 0.35 2.9 0.57 2.8
Oct. 0.02 6.9 0.05 7.2
Nov. 0 5.4 0 3.5
Dec. 0 2.5 0 2.2
2.23 3.07
Year 5.48 6.64
41% 46
The snow conditions over this region are similar
to those over the Northern Islands and storms of blowing snow occur with
about the same frequency. The average depth of the winter snow cover
is small and the ground is bare in many spots. The straits and channels
freeze over somewhat later than those in the Northern Islands; for example,
Coronation Gulf does not freeze over until about the first of November.
Cloud and fog conditions along the coasts are much
the same as those over the rest of the Archipelago. However, conditions
in the interior of Banks and Victoria Islands are probably quite different
from these. For example, Stefansson states: “Through later experience
in hunting and through discussions with Victoria Island Eskimos who were
visiting Banks Island that summer, we conclude that fogs of this type
seldom go more than 15 miles inland and probably never more than 20. So
there is in the interior of an Arctic island as large as Banks, at least
if the island is low, a considerable area nearly free of this type of fog,
which is the most common of the Arctic fogs”.
Eastern Arctic . - It is generally recognized that there is always some
open water in Baffin Bay adjacent to Smith, Jones and Lancaster Sounds.
Moreover, Lancaster Sound itself rarely freezes over completely. From
Bylot Island to Cape Dyer, Baffin Bay freezes over to the Greenland coast,
but south of Cape Dyer, tides and currents limit the seaward growth of
the ice shelf. The presence of this open water and the circulation around
the semi-permanent low over Davis Strait which brings in air from the
Atlantic combine to give this region higher mean winter temperatures, a greater annual precipitation and a higher frequency of storms than the
islands to the north and west.
Summer temperatures are similar to those over the
remainder of the Archipelago with the mean temperature of the warmest month,
July, in the range 40-45°F. On rare occasions a temperature over 70°F
may be experienced; for example, a high of 75°F has occurred at Arctic
Bay, 71°F at Clyde River and 77°F at Pond Inlet.
The mean annual precipitation is near ten inches
for most stations. Pond Inlet and Clyde River both report between five
and six inches but it is believed that their sheltered location causes
them to have less precipitation than the regional average. The increase
in annual precipitation over that of the islands to the north and west is
due partly to a larger amount of summer rainfall and partly to a much
greater snowfall in the latter part of the year. There is a marked
maximum snowfall in October corresponding to the period when cyclonic
storms are frequent in the Davis Strait area. Temperature and precipita–
tion values for typical stations in this region are given in the
following tables.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Arctic Bay Clyde River Craig Harbour Dundas Harbour Fort Ross Pond Inlet
Lat.(°N) 73° 0′ 70° 25′ 76° 12′ 74° 34′ 71° 55′ 72° 43′
Long.(°W) 85° 18′ 68° 17′ 79° 35′ 82° 10′ 94° 15′ 78° 30′
Years of
Record
1937-49 1942-48 1933-39 1930-49
(broken)
1937-48 1931-49
Jan. −20 −14 −21 −16 −20 −25
Feb. −26 −17 −23 −18 −25 −29
Mar. −17 −14 −14 −10 −16 −20
Apr. −4 −2 −2 −1 −7 −2
May 19 19 17 22 16 20
June 36 33 34 36 32 35
July 44 40 41 42 40 42
Aug. 41 39 38 40 36 40
Sept. 30 32 28 30 25 31
Oct. 14 21 12 16 10 15
Nov. −4 3 −5 2 −7 −5
Dec. −16 −9 −18 −12 −15 −20
Year 8 11 7 11 6 7
Range 70 57 64 60 65 71
Highest 75 71 67 64 64 77
Lowest −57 −47 −49 −44 −57 −60
Mean Monthly Rain and Snowfall in Inches and
Mean Annual Total Precipitation Converted to Inches of Rain
Arctic Bay Clyde River Craig Harbour Dundas Harbour Fort Ross Pond Inlet
Lat.(°N) 73° 0′ 70° 25′ 76° 12′ 74° 34′ 71° 55′ 72° 43′
Long.(°W) 85° 18′ 68° 17′ 79° 35′ 82° 10′ 94° 15′ 78° 30′
Years of
Record
1937-49 1942-48 1933-39 1930-49
(broken)
1937-48 1931-49
R S R S R S R S R S R S
Jan. 0 3.4 0 2.4 0 3.8 0 2.2 0 6.7 0 2.2
Feb. 0 1.9 0 2.3 0 2.4 0 3.0 0 3.0 0 1.2
Mar. 0 3.1 0 0.8 0 5.4 0 3.1 0 3.9 0 1.9
Apr. 0 2.7 0 0.4 0 5.7 0 2.6 0 3.3 0 3.6
May 0.03 2.9 0 3.8 0 4.5 0 6.6 0.01 4.4 0 1.2
June 0.23 2.5 0.07 1.5 0.21 4.2 0.45 4.7 0.55 5.2 0.41 1.3
July 0.72 0.1 0.80 1.0 0.93 0 1.23 0.1 2.56 0.3 1.12 trace
Aug. 1.24 0.5 1.20 trace 1.73 0.6 1.56 0.9 1.38 0.5 1.26 0.1
Sept. 0.23 6.6 0.34 1.0 0.13 5.4 0.73 7.3 0.20 11.5 0.32 2.8
Oct. 0 6.9 0 11.0 0 18.6 0 14.1 0 12.3 0 7.1
Nov. 0 3.8 0 8.0 0 7.7 0 5.6 0 9.0 0 3.9
Dec. 0 3.0 0 1.1 0 2.2 0 2.9 0 3.2 0 2.9
2.45 2.41 3.00 3.97 4.70 3.11
Year 6.19 5.74 9.05 9.28 11.03 5.93
40% 42 33% 43% 43% 52%
Cloud conditions are similar to those over the entire
Arctic Archipelago with maximum cloudiness during the summer and a minimum
in the winter. However, the presence of open water and the passage of
cyclonic storms to the south cause the winter minimum to be much less
pronounced than that over the Northern Islands.
Hudson Bay and Strait . - The climate of this area is a more truly maritime
one than that of the foregoing regions. This is due to the proximity of
such vast bodies of water as Davis Strait, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait and
the fact that a considerable part of these waters remains open all winter.
There is no evidence to indicate that Hudson Strait has ever been frozen
over completely along its entire length. However, contrary to popular
opinion, Hudson Bay does freeze over, usually about the first week in
January. This has been proved by a series of reconnaissance flights carried
out by the Royal Canadian Air Force during the years 1948-50.
In addition to the moderating effect of the open
water, another factor which helps to raise the mean winter temperatures is
the proximity of this region to the average path of winter storms. The
cyclonic circulation around these storms pumps warm air from the Atlantic
over the eastern Arctic causing mild spells which are unknown in the
western sections. These mild spells may sometimes extend as far westward
as Cornwallis Island and as far north a s Ellesmere Island.
The mean annual range of temperature is generally
between 55 and 65 degrees. A notable exception is Resolution Island with
a range of only 39 degrees. This is not surprising since Resolution
Island has a very small area and is constantly surrounded by ic y waters.
Extreme low temperatures are of the order of −40°F
to −50°F and extreme high temperatures 70°F to 80°F. Of course it should
be kept in mind that temperatures near the extreme values may not be
experienced oftener than once in three or four years. For example, although
an extreme high temperature of 79°F has been recorded at Coral Harbour, in
1947 the highest summer temperature was only 62°F.
The mean summer temperatures illustrate the chilling
effect of the ice-filled waters for the mean July temperatures are not
appreciably higher than those over the Northern Islands in spite of a
difference in latitude of 15-25 degrees. Temperature values for typical
stations in this region are given in the following table.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Cape Hope’s
Advance
Coral
Harbour
Lake
Harbour
Nottingham
Island
Pangnirtung Port
Harrison
Resolution
Island
Lat.(°N) 61° 5′ 64° 11′ 62° 50′ 63° 7′ 66° 9′ 58° 27′ 61° 18′
Long.(°W) 69° 33′ 86° 17′ 69° 55′ 77° 56′ 65° 30′ 78° 8′ 64° 53′
Years of
Record
1928-49
(broken)
1943-48 1884-46
(broken)
1928-49 1925-42 1921-50 1929-48
Jan. −8 −22 −12 −13 −16 −14 0
Feb. −10 −20 −11 −14 −17 −16 −1
Mar. 0 −14 −2 −4 −6 −6 6
Apr. 11 1 11 9 9 12 15
May 25 19 27 24 25 28 27
June 35 35 38 35 37 39 34
July 42 46 46 42 46 47 38
Aug. 42 45 44 42 44 47 38
Sept. 36 31 36 35 37 41 35
Oct. 28 18 25 26 24 31 29
Nov. 19 6 12 12 12 17 21
Dec. 4 −11 −3 −4 −7 −2 8
Year 18 11 18 16 16 19 21
Range 52 68 58 56 63 63 39
Highest 81 79 80 73 70 80 61
Lowest −37 −57 −49 −42 −52 −57 −36
The nearness of this region to typical storm tracks
across eastern Canada is reflected in the greater annual precipitation as
compared with that over the regions to the north and west. The mean
annual total is near 15 inches of which about 50% is in the form of snow.
The greatest amount of snowfall may be expected in November and nearly
half of the annual snowfall occurs in the months October, November and
December.
Precipitation values for typical stations in this
region are given in the following table.
Mean Monthly Rain and Snowfall in Inches and
Mean Annual Total Precipitation converted to Inches of Rain
Cape Hope’s
Advance
Coral
Harbour
Lake
Harbour
Nottingham
Island
Pangnirtung Port
Harrison
Resolution
Island
Lat.(°N) 61° 5′ 64° 11′ 62° 50′ 63° 7′ 66° 9′ 58° 27′ 61° 18′
Long.(°W) 69° 33′ 86° 17′ 69° 55′ 77° 56′ 65° 30′ 78° 8′ 64° 53′
Years of
Record
1928-49
(broken)
1943-48 1884-46
(broken)
1928-49 1925-42 1921-50 1929-48
R S R S R S R S R S R S R S
Jan. 0 6.2 0 3.1 0.02 8.9 0 5.1 0 7.5 0 6.6 0 10.6
Feb. 0 2.3 0 4.0 0 10.3 0 5.1 0 4.7 trace 3.1 0.01 10.6
Mar. 0 5.1 0 3.2 0.03 7.1 trace 6.0 0 7.5 0 8.2 0.01 9.7
Apr. 0 7.6 0.18 5.0 0.08 10.3 0 8.9 0.05 9.3 0.02 7.1 0.04 8.3
May 0.32 6.0 trace 6.3 0.27 8.8 0.10 6.7 0.23 4.3 0.29 5.3 0.36 8.2
June 1.07 2.0 0.51 1.1 0.96 0.9 0.51 3.0 0.74 2.0 0.77 1.5 0.99 3.3
July 2.31 trace 1.46 0 2.44 0 1.30 0.8 1.50 trace 1.55 trace 1.91 0
Aug. 1.73 trace 1.20 0 1.63 0.1 1.62 0.4 2.30 trace 1.78 trace 1.60 0.2
Sept. 1.90 1.8 0.72 2.8 1.43 1.9 1.07 3.1 1.01 2.3 2.06 3.1 1.84 2.4
Oct. 0.64 9.2 0.04 7.6 0.25 9.2 0.20 9.2 0.41 12.5 1.03 10.8 0.49 8.4
Nov. 0.03 5.8 0.03 8.0 0.02 16.0 0.01 14.4 0.01 11.4 0.12 20.1 0.04 12.3
Dec. trace 4.7 0 2.8 0.02 12.7 Trace 7.6 0 8.4 0 9.5 0 15.0
Year 13.07 8.53 15.78 11.84 13.24 15.15 16.19
4.14 7.15 4.81 6.25 7.29
48% 45% 41% 47% 48%
The winter minimum of cloudiness which is experienced
in Arctic regions is present to a certain extent over this area but to a
much lesser degree. As may be expected, the cloudiest regions are along
the coasts and over the ice-filled Strait. This is borne out by the
records from Resolution Island which snow a mean annual cloudiness of 77%
as compared with a general average of 50-60% over most of the Archipelago.
Summer fog conditions are similar to those over the
Arctic islands, but during the winter, fog as well as cloudiness is more
common than over the islands. The number of foggy days per year in the
coastal areas is of the order of 30-40 days. Resolution Island, in view
of its location, has the greatest number of foggy days with nearly 55
days per year.
Labrador Coast . - On the whole, the pattern of the climate of this region
is similar to that of the Hudson Bay and Strait region for the cold waters
of the Labrador Current cause the area to be bleak and barren. However,
some latitudinal effect is evident in the fact that mean winter temperatures
are of the order of 15-20 degrees higher than those in the Hudson Strait
region. The mean temperature of the warmest month is close to 50°F which
is near the limiting temperature for appreciable tree growth.
The mean annual range of temperature is generally
less than 55 degrees. Winters are not exceptionally severe and the only
station reporting an extreme low of less than −40°F is Hebron with −42°F.
Summers are uniformly cool but abnormally high temperatures may be
experienced occasionally. For example, the extreme high temperature which has been recorded at Cartwright is 96°F and 90°F at Nain. These
unusually high temperatures may occur if a warm air mass approaches the
coast from the continental area to the southwest. Temperature values for
typical coastal stations are given in the following table.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Belle Isle Cartwright Hebron Nain
Lat. (°N) 51° 53′ 53° 42′ 58° 12′ 56° 33′
Long. (°W) 55° 53′ 57° 0′ 62° 37′ 61° 41′
Years of Record 1883-1949 1934-1948 1883-1902 1883-1947 (broken)
Jan. 11 6 –6 –5
Feb. 12 9 –2 –3
Mar. 18 16 6 8
Apr. 27 27 20 21
May 34 37 31 33
June 41 47 40 42
July 48 56 47 49
Aug. 50 54 47 50
Sept. 45 48 40 43
Oct. 37 38 31 33
Nov. 28 28 19 20
Dec. 18 16 3 5
Year 31 32 23 25
Range 39 50 53 55
Highest 72 96 87 90
Lowest –31 –36 –42 –37
Precipitation occurs rather evenly distributed
throughout the year with a mean annual total approximately 30-40 inches
for stations in the southern districts decreasing to about 20 inches in
the northern section. A large part of the precipitation is of cyclonic
origin for the mean path of continental storm centres passes through the
southern part of this region both in winter and summer. The worst storms
usually occur during the fall and winter when the temperature contrasts
between the air masses involved are the greatest.
In view of the predominantly cyclonic origin of the
precipitation, the amount in any month may vary considerably from year to
year. For example, in January 1891, Hebron had a total of 0.13 inches
whereas in January 1888, the total was 2.83 inches. Precipitation values
for typical coastal stations are given in the following table.
The climate of the Labrador Coast is noted for the
frequency of occurrence of fog, especially during the summer months. Warm,
moist air which approaches the coast from the Atlantic is cooled rapidly
to its dew point over the cold waters of the Labrador Current and an
extensive fog bank is formed. An on-shore wind will cause this fog to
move to the coast but it rarely extends very far inland.
Mean Monthly Rain and Snowfall in Inches and
Mean Annual Total Precipitation Converted to Inches of Rain
Belle Isle Cartwright Hebron Nain
Lat.(°N) 51° 53′ 53° 42′ 58° 12′ 56° 33′
Long.(°W) 55° 22′ 57° 0′ 62° 37′ 61° 41′
Years of
Record
1883-1949 1934-1948 1883-1902 1883-1947 (broken)
R S R S R S R S
Jan. 0.23 11.3 0.18 33.0 0.95 0.09 27.2
Feb. 0.37 16.0 0.27 39.4 0.67 0.18 22.9
Mar. 0.53 16.0 0.06 37.2 0.86 0.25 20.2
Apr. 0.88 11.9 0.48 27.3 1.10 0.40 9.5
May 2.50 2.7 1.58 10.1 1.56 1.49 6.7
June 3.44 0.6 3.21 2.7 2.15 2.79 0.2
July 2.88 0 3.20 0 2.70 3.69 0
Aug. 3.13 0.2 3.22 0 2.71 2.84 0
Sept. 3.25 0.3 3.53 trace 3.34 3.40 1.1
Oct. 3.20 3.0 2.72 4.4 1.56 2.28 6.1
Nov. 2.00 7.5 1.63 13.5 1.10 0.75 10.6
Dec. 0.78 19.5 0.26 36.6 0.60 0.42 20.2
Year 32.09 40.78 19.30 31.05
Mackenzie Valley . - The climate of the Mackenzie Valley is a pronouned
continental type with its characteristically large temperature ranges.
The mean mid-winter temperatures are not greatly different from those in
the Northern Islands, but the extreme low temperatures which have been
recorded are much lower. As a matter of fact, the coldest temperature ever
recorded officially in North America is −81.4°F which occurred at Snag
Airport in the Yukon on Feb. 3, 1947.
During the summer months, the many hours of sunshine
cause the ground to warm rapidly, which in turn heats the lower layers of
the atmosphere. The mean July temperatures are near 60°F and the extreme
high temperatures which have been recorded at various stations are generally
between 90° and 100°F. This summer warmth makes it possible to grow rapidly
maturing vegetables and grain as far north as the Arctic Ocean. The warm,
humid summers and the presence of vast areas of swamp and muskeg are also
ideal breeding conditions for insect life, and the mosquitoes of this region
are noted for their size and ferocity. In spite of the high summer
temperatures, nights with frost may occur locally even in July in some years,
but on the average, the period from mid-June to mid-August is frost-free.
The mean annual temperature ranges for stations in
this region are comparatively high, generally between 75 and 85 degrees. The
extreme annual ranges are the highest in Canada; for example, 168 degrees at
Dawson and 174 degrees at Fort Good Hope and Fort Smith. Temperature
values for typical stations in this region are given in the following table.
Monthly and Annual Mean Temperatures and Temperature Extremes (°F)
Aklavik Dawson Fort Good Hope Fort Smith Norway House
Lat.(°N) 68° 14′ 64° 4′ 66° 15′ 60° 0′ 53° 59′
Long.(°W) 134° 50′ 139° 29′ 128° 38′ 111° 52′ 97° 50′
Years of
Record
1926-1950 1898-1950 1897-1942 1913-1949 1897-1945
Jan. −18 −19 −24 −14 −10
Feb. −17 −12 −19 −9