mi-fort-liard-december-2011

Slush and ice makes roads hazardous in Fort Liard, N.W.T., Dec. 5. The temperature in the hamlet reached 13 C on Dec. 5, breaking a local record and tying it with Fredericton as the warmest place in Canada.

Fort Liard, N.W.T., was hotter than Phoenix, Ariz., Monday, breaking its record high temperature for Dec. 5.

The temperature in Fort Liard was 13 C, compared to Phoenix’s 6 C, and the hamlet tied with Fredericton as the warmest place in Canada. The normal highs for this time of year in Fort Liard are around –16 C.

Janna Deneron said she couldn't believe the temperature was 30 degrees higher than normal when she set out for work. Water was pouring off eavestroughs, she said, the road was covered with ice and a few trucks were in the ditch.

"It's really unusual," she said.

Despite all the extra water the hamlet said there was no damage to infrastructure.

Environment Canada climatologist Dave Phillips said the heat blast mirrors chinooks that often pass through southern Alberta.

"It's not a surprise for southern Alberta but it really is for the north," he said. "It's really hard for nature to produce these kind of temperatures."

Yesterday’s temperatures broke a record for Dec. 5, but not for the month of December. In 1999, the high in Fort Liard reached 15 C on Dec. 23.

The weather was unusual in many parts of the North Monday. It was 5 C and raining in Whitehorse in the morning, followed by a heavy snowfall and blowing snow in the afternoon. About 17 centimetres of snow fell in about a seven-hour period.

Weather warnings continued Tuesday in some parts of the N.W.T. and Nunavut, with a blowing snow nearing zero visibility warning in the Yellowknife and Norman Wells areas, a high wind warning for Sanikiluaq, and blizzard warnings for Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, Sachs Harbour, and Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and the Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions of Nunavut.