Inns North Canadian Arctic Hotels
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Inns North Canadian Arctic Hotels

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Nunavut is a huge territory and the weather can vary widely. Generally inland areas are warmer than coastal ones and the western regions are warmer than the Baffin Region. Summer highs can be quite different from community to community. The warmest day on record in Iqaluit was a balmy 24.4 C, whereas Baker Lake once experienced a torrid 33.6 C day in July. The highest temperature recorded in the Arctic was 43 C in Kugluktuk. If the temperature is right, visitors can even swim at some sandy beaches in Nunavut. Qikiqtarjuaq, on the other hand, has never seen a day warmer than 19 C. Spring temperatures are more consistent throughout Nunavut, with average daytime highs between -20 C and -10 C. Cool days are tempered by lots of sunshine. From late March to the end of May, sun reflected off snow and ice can cause severe sunburn.

Daylight
In the winter, visitors should be prepared for cold temperatures and short days. The further north you go, the shorter the winter days get. In Iqaluit the sun rises and sets within four hours on the shortest days of winter. Communities north of the Arctic Circle do not see the sun at all, although the sky may lighten a bit at midday. Conversely, at the summer solstice, the sun shines for up to 21 hours a day in Iqaluit and many Kivalliq communities. The further north you go above the Arctic Circle, the more days you'll experience 24 hour daylight. Unsuspecting visitors, wishing to sleep in the open under the stars at night, have been known to wake up with sunburns!

See our hours of daylight chart

Winter Cold
Low humidity reduces the impact of the cold, making a -20C day feel more like -5C in Southern Canada. Winds, however, can cause frostbite, so it is wise to have a parka with a ruff around its hood for wintertime visits. January, February and March are the coldest months, with an average high in Iqaluit of -22C and a low of -30C. The record low was -46 C. Cambridge Bay is even colder: January averages are -30C for high and -37C for low. The coldest day on record anywhere in Nunavut was in Kugaaruk where the temperature, combined with the wind-chill, reached -92C!

Precipitation
Most of the Arctic is a polar desert, long stretches of almost cloudless days without precipitation are common. Total annual precipitation in Iqaluit is 43 centimetres. Throughout most of Nunavut, cool temperatures mean that snow cover generally does not finish melting until June. The only months without snow are June, July and August on most of the land, . Sea ice does not melt until later. Most rain falls just after the sea ice breaks up, usually between mid-July and the end of August.

Winds
The wind always seems to be blowing in the Arctic! Many communities have steady average winds of 15-20 km/h. Some communities are notorious for occasional extreme winds. In Pangnirtung many of the older houses have cables fastening their roofs to the ground to protect them against gusts of more than 100 km/h. Precipitation tends to fall sideways. It is almost always accompanied by winds of 30-60 km/h. If you plan to spend extended time out on the land or water, you must consider the wind as a factor. The wind-chill factor is often more significant than the actual air temperature.

Weather Delays
Blizzards are most common during fall and early spring. Travel to the smaller communities can be severely affected at these times. Pilots must rely on good visibility to approach airstrips. In the summer, weather delays can also be caused by strong winds, unpredictable cloud cover and fog. Build time into your schedule to allow for the possibility of being 'weathered in'or 'weathered out' of a community by poor visibility or strong winds. If outdoor activities such as hiking or boating are on your agenda, make allowances in your plans for weather delays.

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Inns North Canadian Arctic Hotels

Inns North Canadian Arctic Hotels hotels are located in:

Arviat, Nunavut
Baker Lake, Nunavut
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut
Gjoa Haven, Nunavut
Hall Beach, Nunavut
Igloolik, Nunavut
Kimmirut, Nunavut
Kugaaruk, Nunavut
Pangnirtung, Nunavut
Pond Inlet, Nunavut
Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Repulse Bay, Nunavut
Resolute Bay, Nunavut
Sanikiluaq, Nunavut
Whale Cove, Nunavut
Fort McPherson, NWT
Ulukhaktok, NWT

 

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