arctic aurora borealis atop a tent by a river

Weather and Climate

Weather & Climate

Think It's Too Cold? Think Again.

Temperatures

What's the difference between the Northwest Territories and Hawaii? It's hotter in the summer. That's right, from June to August, temperatures in the Northwest Territories can be downright sultry, with an all-time high of 39.4° C (103 °F). For the most part though, think room temperature – perfect conditions for playing all day and night.

Winter up here is, of course, nippy – but it's a dry cold. The sunny, windless days make the chill intriguing, even enjoyable. And plus, there's a wealth of welcoming spots to warm up indoors.

Here's a sample of what you can expect, temperature-wise:

July record high/average high
Fort Liard: 34.5° C / 23.3° C
Yellowknife:  32.5° C / 21.3° C
Inuvik:  32.8° C / 19.5° C

March record high/average high
Fort Liard:  18° C / -3.0° C
Yellowknife:  9.3° C / -10.8° C
Inuvik:  6.1° C / -16.8° C


Skies

The Northwest Territories enjoys brilliant blue skies for most of the year. Indeed, Yellowknife is Canada's sunniest city in the spring and summer. With all those clear days, it's the best place on Earth to enjoy the Northern Lights and the midnight sun.

Here's how these skies compare with other Canadian cities during peak visitor season:

% Sunny skies, April-August
Yellowknife:  60.4%
Toronto:  53.6%
Vancouver:  52.0%
Quebec City:  48.6%

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