Churchill, Manitoba

The town of Churchill, Manitoba  is found in Northeastern Manitoba at 58N. Located on the shore of the Hudson Bay , Churchill has an elevation of thirteen meters.

Just North of Amery, at the mouth of the Churchill River , the scenic town of Churchill lies on the largest peatland in North America. Settled between the diverse Arctic tundra and Boreal Forest biomes, Churchill provides an array of plants and animals, as well as supporting a variety of human cultures.

From the stretching tundra speckled with wildflowers, lichens, and herds of caribou, to the shore of the Hudson Bay, home to the Beluga whale and several species of seal, Churchill is rich in wildlife. Also found in Churchill are over two hundred species of birds, the arctic fox, the arctic hare, and most importantly, the polar bear . Because of its location in the path of Polar bears traveling to their mating grounds, Churchill has often been referred to as the "Polar Bear Capitol of the World."

Due to its Northern location, you can travel to Churchill only by rail or by air. 

The following data and climagraph represents the average temperature and precipitation for Churchill, Manitoba over the last 25 years.

Months

J

F

M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
Precipitation (mm) 17 13 18 23 31 45 51 61 53 47 35 20
Temperature (C) -27 -25 -20 -10 -1 6 12 11 6 -1 -13 -23


Data for climagraph obtained from Environment Canada.

Churchill experiences both continental and maritime climates. With a temperature range of 39C, Churchill experiences relatively cold weather year round, but summers are somewhat moderated by the close proximity to the Hudson Bay. Winters are better categorized as harsh, like those of an extreme northern climate. Receiving only 414mm of precipitation for the entire year, Churchill gets most of its precipitation in the summer.

Factors that affect the climate of Churchill:

Temperature:

Latitude: Churchill has a latitude of 58N, meaning it is located well into the northern hemisphere, causing it to receive a high albedo, meaning rays from the sun are reflected by the snow and ice. This results in low temperatures year round.

Nearness to water: Due to its location on the coast of the Hudson Bay, Churchill receives a moderating effect from the water in the summer, due to the fact that water heats up and cools down more slowly than land. During the winter however, Churchill receives temperatures characteristic of a continental climate. This is because during the winter months, the bay freezes over, so it doesn't have the same moderating effect that it does in the summer.

Air masses: During the summer, Churchill receives Maritime Arctic air masses that bring cool, but not freezing temperatures from the Hudson Bay. During the winter months, when the bay is frozen, Continental Arctic air masses form over the land and bay, bringing temperatures below -20C.

Precipitation:

Latitude: Because Churchill is located so far north, it receives a significant amount of its precipitation in the form of snow.

Nearness to water: Located on the northwest coast of the Hudson Bay, Churchill receives air masses that carry moisture from forming over the bay. During the winter the air holds little precipitation because it forms over the frozen bay and land. This is the reason that most of Churchill's annual precipitation falls in the summer..

Air Masses: Most of the air masses that affect the area form over the Hudson Bay, meaning they hold a significant amount of moisture during the summer and are somewhat warmer than those that form over the frozen bay and bring almost no precipitation and extremely low temperatures during the winter months.

Land forms and Altitude: There are no significant land forms present in Churchill that have an effect on climate and altitude doesn't play any major role in the climate either.

This report was completed by:

Danielle Munden