Canadian Hotspot Hits 21°C (37.8°F) Above Normal

Sat, 2011-01-22 11:51Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canadian Hotspot Hits 21°C (37.8°F) Above Normal

While world media have been distracted by cold temperatures in Europe (December averages in the U.K. were 5.2°C [9.4°F] below normal), a vast pocket over northeastern Canada has been hitting heights that were not just unprecedented but, until this year, unimaginable.

As Bob Henson reports at the NCAR & UCAR Currents, the Canadian low Arctic has been unseasonably, unreasonably balmy, with the largest anomaly rising to 21°C [37.8°F] above normal. Hudson Bay and the waters around Baffin Island remained open well beyond usual, suggesting that the risk for an extraordinarily low summer ice season is built into the works. (If you look at this map, from Bremen University, you see that even the North Pole was unconvincingly frozen by Jan. 11 of this year.)

Henson looks particularly at the community of Coral Harbour, on the northwest corner of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, where typical January temperatures range from a bone-chilling low of –34°C (–29.2°F) to teeth-chattering “high” of -26°C (–14.8°F). This year, Environment Canada reported that in the first 12 days:

  • Coral Harbour went 11 days without getting down to its average daily high.
  • On Jan. 6, the low temperature was –3.7°C (25.3°F) - that’s 30°C (54°F) above average.
  • On both the 5th and 6th, Coral Harbor inched above the freezing mark. Before this year, temperatures above 0°C (32°F) had never been recorded in the entire three months of January, February, and March.

Fans of this kind of weather trivia (which is to say, courageous people who don’t mind spending the odd sleepless night considering the trajectory of Earth’s changing climate) should shuffle on over to Lou Grinzo’s blog, The Cost of Energy, and look especially to Lou’s Quick Graphs, a great page that pulls together a host of useful and interesting scientific sources, all of which tend to argue that we’re in a heap of trouble.

Previous Comments

do you consider this climate or weather? because i am freezing.

If you can’t grasp the concept that disruptions in weather patterns due to increased CO2 in the atnosphere will lead to changes in climate norms, then you had better go back to grade 9 geography and take a refresher.

A heap, indeed. Wow.

nice to see that desmog has approved a comment! one step further away from china. femack, not so nice to see how you respond to a simple question. why the attitude? I just asked if this was considered climate or weather. i get this defensive answer from you about my understanding of co2 and its relationship with climate. my comment was making the point that when an event says that temperatures are rising its climate but when its the opposite its weather. “If you can’t grasp the concept that disruptions in weather patterns due to increased CO2 in the atnosphere will lead to changes in climate norms, then you had better go back to grade 9 geography and take a refresher.” really? not sure what geography has to do with this. so educate me: what disruptions do you speak of? sea level? hurricanes? sea ice? increasing temperatures? (btw, when are they supposed to start increasing again? 15 years of no increases seems to indicate a climate pattern, no?)glacial retreats? snowless winters? snowy winters? all man made global warming? interesting article on magnetic fields and their effect on climate or weather. you should take a look. peer reviewed stuff. oh yeah, that doesn’t mean much anymore. oh well, still an interesting article. peace, rich


As of January 26, the California Department of Water Resources reported that snowpack statewide was at just 27% of its normal level, which is 15% of the average for April 1, the point at which snow is typically expected to stop accumulating and begin to melt.

Which means, of course, that California is in for another dry year. Melting snowpack provides water to streams and rivers and replenishes reservoirs that are used for drinking water and agriculture.

In a cruel irony, a dry year...

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