Eureka, Nunavut

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Research / weather station
Eureka Weather Station 1997-08-04.jpg
Eureka seen from its airfield
Canada Nunavut location map-lambert proj3.svg
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Canada location map 2.svg
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Coordinates: 79°59′N085°57′W / 79.983°N 85.950°W / 79.983; -85.950 [1] Coordinates: 79°59′N085°57′W / 79.983°N 85.950°W / 79.983; -85.950 [2]
Territory Nunavut
Region Qikiqtaaluk Region
Island group Queen Elizabeth Islands
FoundedApril 11, 1947
83 m (272 ft)
  Total8 [4]
Time zone UTC−05:00 (EST)
Postal code
X0A 0G0 [5]
Area code 867 [6]
Elevation is at Eureka Aerodrome.

Eureka is a small research base on Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Qikiqtaaluk Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It is located on the north side of Slidre Fiord, which enters Eureka Sound farther west. It is the third-northernmost permanent research community in the world. The only two farther north are Alert, which is also on Ellesmere Island, and Nord, in Greenland. Eureka has the lowest average annual temperature [7] and the lowest amount of precipitation of any weather station in Canada.


Eureka's postal code is X0A 0G0 and the area code is 867. [5] [6]


The base consists of three areas:[ citation needed ]

"PEARL", Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Change) Astro-Lab (04-08-97).jpg
"PEARL", Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Change)

PEARL is operated by a consortium of Canadian university researchers and government agencies known as the Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Change. [9] PEARL announced it would cease full-time year-round operation as of April 30, 2012, due to lack of funding, but this decision was reversed in May 2013 with the announcement of new funds. [10]


Eureka was founded on April 7, 1947, as part of an initiative to set up a network of Arctic weather stations. [11] On this date, 100 t (98 long tons; 110 short tons) of supplies were airlifted to a promising spot on Ellesmere Island, and five prefabricated Jamesway huts were constructed. Regular weather observations began on January 1, 1948. The station has expanded over the years. At its peak, in the 1970s, at least fifteen staff were on site; in 2005, it reported a permanent population of zero with at least 8 staff on a continuous rotational basis.[ citation needed ]

Several generations of buildings have been developed. The latest operations centre, with work areas and staff quarters in one large structure, was completed in 2005.[ citation needed ]

Location and accessibility

Eureka from the air, 2007 Eureka station.jpg
Eureka from the air, 2007

The complex is powered by diesel generators. The station is supplied once every six weeks with fresh food and mail by air, and annually in the late summer, a supply ship from Montreal brings heavy supplies. On July 3, 2009, a Danish Challenger 604 MMA jet landed at Eureka's aerodrome. [12] The jet is a military observation aircraft based on the Challenger executive jet. This jet visited Eureka on a familiarization trip, in order to prepare for the possibility of Danish aircraft assisting in search and rescue missions over Canadian territory. The Canadian American Strategic Review noted critically that the first jet to fly a mission to Eureka was not Canadian.[ citation needed ]

At Eureka's latitude, a geosynchronous communications satellite, if due south, would require an antenna to be pointed nearly horizontally; satellites farther east or west along that orbit would be below the horizon. Telephone access and television broadcasts arrived in 1982 when Operation Hurricane resulted in the establishment of a satellite receiving station at nearby Skull Point, which has an open view to the south. The low power Channel 9 TV transmitter at Skull Point was the world's most northern TV station at the time. In the 1980s, TV audio was often connected to the telephone to feed CBC-TV news to CHAR-FM in isolated CFS Alert. More recently, CANDAC has installed what is likely the world's most northerly geosynchronous satellite ground-station to provide Internet-based communications to PEARL.[ citation needed ]

Other inhabited places on Ellesmere Island include Alert [13] and Grise Fiord.

Flora and fauna

Eureka has been described as "The Garden Spot of the Arctic" due to the flora and fauna abundant around the Eureka area, more so than anywhere else in the High Arctic. Fauna include muskox, Arctic wolves, Arctic foxes, Arctic hares, and lemmings. In addition, summer nesting geese, ducks, owls, loons, ravens, gulls and many other smaller birds nest, raise their young, and return south in August.[ citation needed ]


Eureka experiences a polar climate ( ET ). The settlement sees the midnight sun between April 10 and August 29, with no sunlight at all between mid-October and late February. Eureka has the lowest average annual temperature and least precipitation of any weather station in Canada with an annual mean temperature of −18.8 °C (−1.8 °F). However, summers are slightly warmer than other places in the Canadian Arctic because Eureka is somewhat landlocked, being near the centre of Ellesmere Island. Even so, since record keeping began, the temperature has never exceeded 20.9 °C (69.6 °F), first reached on July 14, 2009. [14] Although a polar desert, evaporation is also very low, which allows the limited moisture to be made available for plants and wildlife.[ citation needed ] Its frost-free season averages 56 days, much longer than many other places nearby. [14]

Climate data for Eureka (Eureka Aerodrome)
WMO ID: 71917; coordinates 79°59′N85°56′W / 79.983°N 85.933°W / 79.983; -85.933 (Eureka Aerodrome) ; elevation: 10.4 m (34 ft); 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1947–present
Record high humidex −1.1−8.5−3.07.317.920.816.37.24.8−3.9−4.020.8
Record high °C (°F)−1.1
Average high °C (°F)−32.9
Daily mean °C (°F)−36.5
Average low °C (°F)−40.1
Record low °C (°F)−53.3
Record low wind chill −69−73−67−59−43−21−7−17−40−52−61−64−73
Average precipitation mm (inches)2.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)0.0
Average snowfall cm (inches)3.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)63.466.365.867.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 0.00.0120.2353.8486.3386.4360.5238.998.412.50.00.02,057
Percent possible sunshine
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada [14] [15] [16] [17]

    See also

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