Canada's top 10 weather stories for 2014: Northern highlights

1. Yukon Chinook

Record temperatures prevailed across the Yukon during the final week of January. Very warm air descended the slopes of nearby mountains, undergoing dramatic warming on its way. Fort Liard was 14.8°C - some 31 degrees warmer than normal and more than 7 degrees warmer than the previous daily record set in 1977. On January 24, Burwash shattered Yukon’s all-time record high maximum temperatures for any day in January at 16.5°C, eclipsing its previous record of 9.5°C in 2009. With a week before the start of the 2014 Yukon Quest, this year’s race was looking to be one of the soggiest on record.

2. Smoke, Ash and Lightning Produce Red Haze

Smoke and falling ash from extensive territorial wildfires combined to cloak Yellowknife in a thick red haze late on July 30. At the same time, a northerly cold front swung through the southern Mackenzie Valley and triggered a number of dry lightning thunderstorms. Flashes of lightning filtered through the smoke and ash, giving the sky an eerie, deep red tinge.

3. Nunavut Rains

On August 17, rains spread northward across southern Baffin Island associated with a slow-moving low pressure system. The depression dumped between 20 and 40 mm of rain in many locations, including Baker Lake, Pangnirtung and Kimmirut.

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