The Arctic Winter

From December to March, most areas in the Arctic have an average daily temperature which is less than -20C, with the coldest month often being February – as opposed to January in other Canadian localities. In the coldest parts of Canada's Arctic – the northwest and parts of Ellesmere Island – temperatures as low as -50C are not uncommon. Although this is terribly cold by any standard, there are other places in continental Canada that get colder. For example, some stations in the Yukon have recorded temperatures below -60C. It is the persistence of the cold, rather than extremely low temperatures, that defines the arctic climate. However, winter temperatures do fluctuate and do approach zero on occasion, particularly in the southeast, which is within reach of the relatively warm, moist winds blowing off the North Atlantic.

Mean daily temperature for the year
Mean daily temperature for January
Mean daily temperature for March
Mean daily temperature for July
Mean daily temperature for September

Because of the absence of sunlight in the High Arctic during winter, daily variations in temperature are much less than those experienced in southern Canada. Variations from day to day and week to week are mostly the result of changes in weather systems that cause changes in cloud cover. Generally speaking, clear days are colder than cloudy ones, and the High Arctic during winter is usually clear!