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Northwest Territories Travel Guide

Northwest Territories — Weather

The weather of the Northwest Territories can be divided into two distinct categories. The northern half above the tree line experiences the cold Arctic climate visitors usually expect in northern Canada. Most of what little precipitation falls the Northern Territories’ north occurs during the Arctic climate’s very brief summer.

The southern Northwest Territories beneath the tree line, on the other hand, experiences slightly warmer weather, slightly more precipitation, and slightly longer summers lasting up to three months with temperatures soaring as high as 75°F in the middle of July in Fort Simpson. Thunderstorms happen more often in the south than the north.

As a whole, the Northwest Territories experiences some of the world’s longest and coldest winters with temperatures plummeting as low as -50°F at night and usually remaining below 0°F even during the day. Down-filled clothing provides the best protection against these frigid winter arctic nights.

Best Time to Visit the Northwest Territories

The summer months between June and mid-August undoubtedly bring the greatest amount of tourists to the Northwest Territories. This is the most pleasant time of year to hike, boat, fish, or simply soak in the region’s unspoiled scenery. Summer temperatures can get surprisingly high, and the sun rises early in the morning and shines well into the evening in the land of the midnight sun.

Shoulder season in the Northwest Territories begins in mid-August and lasts until the end of September. The weather becomes cooler during these weeks, but is still warm enough to pleasantly enjoy the abundant outdoor attractions. Airfare is the only cost which decreases significantly during the Northwest Territories’ long and low winter season, which begins in October and lasts until May. The Northern Lights, which only come out during the near-constant winter darkness, are the Northwest Territories’ most popular winter attraction.

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