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Weather & Climate - Travel Nunavut

Weather & Climate

Nunavut is an enormous territory, so the weather varies widely from place to place. First time visitors to Nunavut should know that it does not have a temperate climate.

This is the Arctic, which is much colder on average than most of the populated regions of the world.

Seasons

Nunavut experiences five seasons across the territory. Due to its vast size, these seasons can be experienced differently, and each region has its own seasonal calendar. A crucial understanding of what grows and what wildlife is in abundance from month to month has been nurtured for generations and shared among the Inuit. Discover what each season brings to the Auyuittuq National Park region of Nunavut.

The Inuit Year seasonal infographic

The coldest community in Nunavut is Grise Fiord, where summer temperatures can sometimes rise above freezing to 5°C and winter temperatures frequently drop to -50°C.

Temperature

Temperatures vary widely by community. The average temperature in Kugluktuk is the warmest in Nunavut, sometimes rising to 30°C in the summer and ranging from -15°C to -40°C in the winter.

Spring temperatures are more consistent throughout the territory, with average daytime highs between -20°C and -10°C. The cool days of spring in Nunavut have plenty of sunshine. From late March to the end of May, the sunlight reflected off the snow and ice can cause severe sunburn, so even though it may feel cold, using sunscreen lotion is advisable.

Average Temperature of Nunavut Communities (in degrees Celsius)

Temperatures vary widely by community. The average temperature in Kugluktuk is the warmest in Nunavut, sometimes rising to 30°C in the summer and ranging from -15°C to -40°C in the winter.

Qikiqtaaluk

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Qikiqtaaluk
Arctic Bay -29 -30 -28 -20 -11 0 5 2 -6 -15 -23 -27
Cape Dorset -25 -26 -22 -14 -6 2 7 6 2 -4 -12 -20
Clyde River -28 -30 -27 -19 -9 1 4 4 0 -8 -18 -25
Grise Ford -33 -34 -31 -22 -10 -3 2 1 -4 -12 -22 -30
Hall Beach -32 -33 -29 -20 -9 1 6 5 0 -10 -20 -28
Igloolik -30 -31 -28 -19 -8 2 7 5 0 -9 -20 -26
Iqaluit -27 -28 -24 -15 -4 4 8 7 2 -5 -13 -23
Kimmirut -25 -26 -23 -14 -4 3 7 6 2 -4 -12 -22
Pangnirtung -24 -24 -23 -16 -8 0 4 3 -2 -7 -15 -21
Pond Inlet -32 -34 -30 -22 -10 2 6 4 -1 -11 -22 -29
Qikiqtarjuaq -25 -26 -24 -17 -8 0 4 3 -3 -8 -16 -22
Resolute -32 -33 -31 -23 -11 0 4 2 -5 -19 -24 -29
Sanikiluaq -22 -23 -17 -7 1 6 10 10 7 2 -5 -16

Kivalliq

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kivalliq
Arviat -30 -28 -23 -14 -4 4 10 10 4 -3 -16 -25
Baker Lake -32 -32 -27 -17 -6 5 11 10 3 -8 -20 -28
Chesterfield Inlet -31 -31 -27 -17 -6 3 9 8 2 -8 -19 -26
Coral Harbour -30 -30 -26 -17 -7 3 9 7 1 -7 -17 -26
Rankin Inlet -32 -30 -25 -16 -6 4 10 10 3 -5 -18 -27
Repulse Bay -31 -31 -26 -17 -7 3 8 6 0 -8 -19 -26
Whale Cove -31 -31 -27 -16 -6 3 9 8 2 -4 -16 -26

Kitikmeot

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kitikmeot
Cambridge Bay -33 -33 -30 -21 -9 2 8 6 0 -12 -23 -30
Gjoa Haven -34 -34 -28 -20 -9 1 8 5 0 -10 -22 -30
Kugaaruk -26 -34 -28 -24 -9 4 10 12 1 -7 -16 -26
Kugluktuk -28 -27 -25 -17 -5 5 11 9 3 -7 -20 -26
Taloyoak -34 -34 -31 -21 -9 1 7 6 -1 -12 -23 -27

Daylight

In winter, visitors should be prepared for cold temperatures and short days.

The further north you go, the shorter the winter days get. Communities north of the Arctic Circle don’t see the sun at all for stretches at a time, although the sky may lighten a bit on the southern horizon at midday.

The further north you go above the Arctic Circle, the greater number of days that have complete 24-hour sunshine. The Midnight Sun shines brightly over Nunavut. Depending on the community, the sun never completely sets beneath the horizon for up to four months of the year.

On the shortest day in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit, the sun rises and sets within four hours.

Conversely, at the summer solstice, the sun shines for 21 hours in Iqaluit with a few hours of beautiful twilight around midnight.

Community 24 Hours of Sunshine
Grise Fiord April 22 to August 20
Resolute April 29 to August 13
Pond Inlet May 5 to August 7
Arctic Bay May 6 to August 6
Clyde River May 13 to August 1
Taloyoak May 17 to July 27
Igloolik May 18 to July 26
Cambridge Bay May 20 to July 23
Hall Beach May 21 to July 22
Kugaaruk May 21 to July 22
Gjoa Haven May 22 to July 21
Kugluktuk May 27 to July 17
Qikiqtarjuaq May 29 to July 15
Repulse Bay June 4 to July 9
Pangnirtung June 8 to July 4
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