A senior climatologist with Environment Canada says June and July in the Northwest Territories were the driest in 40 years — and August isn't expected to get much better. 

NWT Weather

Warm, sunny days and the driest conditions in 40 years have brought fires, smoke and evacuations to the Northwest Territories. (Adrian Skok/Plummer's Lodge)

Warm days have meant little rain for the territory. Phillips says there were just four days of rain in June and July combined, just "enough to fill a thimble." 

Conditions have made the forest fire season in the territory the worst in a generation, causing major smoke and air quality concerns, as well as intermittent road closures and community evacuations

Phillips says the weather isn't expected to be much different in August. 

"We see that warmth kind of continuing," he said. "And precipitation — always tougher to get that right — we see normal precipitation, which you know, I mean, hey, that's good news if you got normal precipitation, not the kind of drought that you're seeing right now."

Phillips says the position of the jet stream is causing the unusually warm weather. He's predicting sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures for the first week of the month.