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Cruel summer

North wind kept Inuvik cool and cloudy

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Sep 06/02) - It was a cruel, cruel summer, even by Northern standards.

Yvonne Bilan-Wallace, meteorologist with the Arctic Weather Centre, said there were a lot of record-breaking highs and lows throughout the territory this summer.

NNSL photo

Inuvik's summer hasn't been all that good for days on the beach, but if you like puddle jumping like Brandon Cockney, the weather was just perfect. - Terry Halifax/NNSL photo

"It really has been a study of contrasts," Bilan-Wallace said.

"I think maybe this summer caught people by surprise."

She said the biggest source of our weather woes came from the cold North wind that has been blowing a lot of cloud cover south.

"Basically what's happened in Inuvik is you've been getting a lot of flow of the Beaufort," she explained. "It hasn't been weather systems as such, it's just been the direction your wind is coming from."

While the NWT was breaking records on the bottom of the thermometer, Nunavut set 14 maximum records set this summer.

But Inuvik residents can take heart knowing we set the only high for the year in this territory.

"The NWT only had one maximum set and that was in Inuvik," she said. "That was 28.2 degrees on the 18th of July and it broke the 1962 record."

"You were the only ones who had any maximum records set."

The cloudy days didn't bring a lot of rain with them, but last Thursday night's rain tied the record for number of days with rain for August.

Bilan-Wallace said although there has been many rainy days, we haven't come close to the record of 164.1 millimetres of rain in 1969.

"You're at around 60 millimetres of rain, so you're not even close to any sort of record," she said.

She said elsewhere in the territory some longtime records were broken, including a record cold that has lasted since 1899 in Fort Simpson.

"You could say they experienced the once-in-a-century cold snap," she said.

Up river in Norman Wells, they were watching the mercury dip to record lows as well, she said.

"Poor Norman Wells, they had a record minimum for all of the three months," she said.

But Bilan-Wallace said not to give up hope for a last chance at some sunny days, because the fall forecast looks better for us here in the Delta.

"The long-range forecast is above normal for all of Canada and if you're a betting person that pretty much works in the North, but I think overall we're going to be looking at normal to maybe a bit above normal for the fall," she said.

"I don't think you're going to be in the ice age -- you'll be in the normal to above normal, but it won't be a heat wave."