Climate & Weather

Unlikely as it seems, the Mackenzie Delta is further west than Vancouver. Its position on maps is about one third of the way between Seattle and Hawaii but the time zone is Mountain time. This is particularly noticeable in midsummer, when midnight by the clock is really only nine o'clock by the sun, which does not set for 24 hours in June and July and for up to 16 hours in August.

Communities in the Western Arctic north of the Arctic Circle experience extreme contrasts between summer and winter.There are 57 days in summer when the sun does not set at all and 30 days in winter when daylight is just a strip of light on the horizon, and the sun does not rise.

Due to the long hours of summer daylight and warmed by southern breezes, the Mackenzie River valley stays several degrees warmer than the tundra and mountains to the east and west. It is not unusual for Inuvik to be hotter than Edmonton or Vancouver on a July afternoon. Inuvik can experience nine months of temperatures below zero, with December, January and February being the coldest months.