You're not imagining it — September is colder than usual in Yellowknife

According to Environment Canada, not even halfway through September, Yellowknife has already broken cold records for three days.

Not even halfway through the month, Yellowknife has already broken records 3 times

A frosty morning in Yellowknife this week. Snow is expected in the capital city on Friday. (Mark Hadlari/CBC)

Already wearing boots and parkas while your friends in the South are still heading to the beach?

Yes, it's the North, but it actually has been colder than normal.

According to Environment Canada, Yellowknife has already broken cold records for three days, and it's not even halfway through September. 

On Sept. 9, a record low of –2 C was reached, beating the old record of –1.1 C set in 2004.

Two days later, on Sept. 11, another record low was hit at –2 C, beating the record of –1.7 C in 1972. That day also broke another record for the coldest daytime temperature of 3.2 C, beating the 1970 record of 5 C.

Sept. 12 also set a record low daytime high of 2.6 C, beating 3.3 C set way back in 1964.

CBC North meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler said it's all about the jet stream — that conveyor belt of winds that moves weather systems around the world.

"The jet stream split and a cold pocket of air from the Arctic extended further south," she said. "We've been sitting like that for most of September."

A look at an early September snowfall in Yellowknife:

Brauweiler said that pattern doesn't look like it's going to change much over the next two weeks.

The normal maximum temperature for this time of year is 10 C, while the minimum is 4 C. On Thursday the average temperature sat at 4 C, and Friday is looking at a high of 3 C and snow.

"I pulled out my jacket a little earlier than normal," Brauweiler laughed. "I had to part with my flip-flops sooner than I wanted to."

Cold front follows dismal summer

This chilly September follows a dismal summer in the N.W.T. capital. June broke records for rainfall, and many people were lamenting the summer that wasn't. Brauweiler said the jet stream was weaker than usual this summer, which means weather patterns didn't move as much.

At least Yellowknife isn't the only part of Canada dealing with an early winter; Alberta got a dumping of snow this week. There were snowfall warnings in effect for Grande Prairie, Grande Cache and Jasper.

That province has the N.W.T. to thank.

Brauweiler said the system was caused by Arctic air from the N.W.T. that headed south, making for late summer snow and frigid temperatures in Alberta.

But it's not all bad news.

"The berries have been good," Brauweiler offered. "The frost makes them sweeter!"


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