Prince Patrick Island

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Prince Patrick Island
PrincePatrickIslandCloseup.png
Prince Patrick Island, showing the Mould Bay weather station
Prince Patrick Island.svg
Geography
Location Northern Canada
Coordinates 76°45′N 119°30′W / 76.750°N 119.500°W / 76.750; -119.500 (Prince Patrick Island)Coordinates: 76°45′N 119°30′W / 76.750°N 119.500°W / 76.750; -119.500 (Prince Patrick Island)
Archipelago Queen Elizabeth Islands
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Area 15,848 km2 (6,119 sq mi)
Area rank 55th
Highest elevation 279 m (915 ft)
Highest point unnamed
Country
Canada
Territory  Northwest Territories
Demographics
Population Uninhabited

A member of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Prince Patrick Island is the westernmost of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The area of the island is 15,848 km2 (6,119 sq mi),[1] making it the 55th largest island in the world and Canada's 14th largest island. It has historically been icebound all year, making it one of the most inaccessible parts of Canada.

Located at the entrance of the M'Clure Strait, Prince Patrick Island is uninhabited. A High Arctic Weather Station ("HAWS") and associated airstrip called Mould Bay was opened in 1948 as part of a joint Canada-U.S. military effort to support a weather station network. Regular weather observations began on May 14, 1948. It had a temporary staff of between 10 and 40 people. Staff size normally increased during summer months, when the station was re-supplied from the south.

During the period of US National Weather Service participation, the site was known as a Joint Arctic Weather Station ("JAWS"). Executive officers alternated between Canadians and their US counterparts. US participation ended in 1972. The station was closed in 1997, owing to budget cuts. It was replaced with an automated weather station at a new location on the airstrip, downhill from the central buildings and observatory. The last manned weather observations were taken on March 31, 1997, ending the continuous weather record of 1948-1997.

The buildings still stand, but as of 2007, most have deteriorated to an unrepairable state.[2] The station represented the only known long-term human settlement of the Island.

The first known sighting of the island was in 1853 by George Mecham, when it was explored by him and Francis Leopold McClintock the spring of that year during the Edward Belcher expedition.[3] Much later, it was named for Prince Arthur William Patrick, Duke of Connaught, who was Governor General 1911-16.

The island rises to only about 279 m (915 ft),[4] and the area is seismically active.

Prince Patrick Island is the setting for a work of fiction, the novel The Lost Ones (1961) by Ian Cameron (Donald G. Payne). It was filmed as the Walt Disney Pictures film The Island at the Top of the World in 1974. The novel tells of a lost colony of Vikings living in a lost valley in the island, which, thanks to the volcanoes on the island, is warm and habitable.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Mould Bay Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex −6.7 −5.4 −6.7 −2.2 5.0 12.8 17.3 16.2 7.2 2.3 −1.7 −3.0 17.3
Record high °C (°F) −5.3
(22.5)
−4.9
(23.2)
−6.7
(19.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
5.6
(42.1)
13.7
(56.7)
17.5
(63.5)
14.4
(57.9)
7.8
(46)
2.5
(36.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
−2.6
(27.3)
17.5
(63.5)
Average high °C (°F) −29.4
(−20.9)
−30.0
(−22)
−27.6
(−17.7)
−19.1
(−2.4)
−7.4
(18.7)
2.9
(37.2)
6.7
(44.1)
3.0
(37.4)
−3.8
(25.2)
−14.1
(6.6)
−23.1
(−9.6)
−27.0
(−16.6)
−14.1
(6.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) −33.1
(−27.6)
−33.9
(−29)
−31.4
(−24.5)
−23.0
(−9.4)
−10.4
(13.3)
0.6
(33.1)
4.0
(39.2)
0.9
(33.6)
−6.2
(20.8)
−17.7
(0.1)
−26.6
(−15.9)
−30.5
(−22.9)
−17.3
(0.9)
Average low °C (°F) −36.9
(−34.4)
−37.6
(−35.7)
−34.9
(−30.8)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−13.5
(7.7)
−1.7
(28.9)
1.2
(34.2)
−1.3
(29.7)
−8.5
(16.7)
−21.3
(−6.3)
−30.2
(−22.4)
−34.0
(−29.2)
−20.4
(−4.7)
Record low °C (°F) −52.2
(−62)
−53.9
(−65)
−50.0
(−58)
−46.1
(−51)
−28.9
(−20)
−14.4
(6.1)
−3.9
(25)
−13.5
(7.7)
−26.1
(−15)
−37.9
(−36.2)
−44.4
(−47.9)
−52.8
(−63)
−53.9
(−65)
Wind chill −72.8 −72.0 −70.1 −60.5 −39.2 −22.5 −10.8 −17.3 −35.0 −52.3 −57.9 −68.8 −72.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 4.5
(0.177)
4.6
(0.181)
4.2
(0.165)
3.4
(0.134)
10.8
(0.425)
9.8
(0.386)
13.8
(0.543)
23.8
(0.937)
18.1
(0.713)
12.9
(0.508)
6.7
(0.264)
4.5
(0.177)
117.2
(4.614)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
3.6
(0.142)
10.0
(0.394)
11.7
(0.461)
2.2
(0.087)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
27.5
(1.083)
Snowfall cm (inches) 5.4
(2.13)
5.8
(2.28)
5.1
(2.01)
4.7
(1.85)
15.0
(5.91)
6.6
(2.6)
3.8
(1.5)
12.9
(5.08)
18.5
(7.28)
16.1
(6.34)
9.0
(3.54)
6.3
(2.48)
109.2
(42.99)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.1 6.6 6.4 4.9 10.1 6.3 9.0 13.3 12.8 11.6 9.6 6.9 103.6
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 7.8 6.2 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 6.6 6.9 6.8 5.8 12.2 4.2 3.4 8.9 12.5 12.2 10.0 7.1 96.5
 % humidity 69.5 67.4 64.6 73.2 82.0 81.3 79.6 84.8 88.2 80.3 73.3 69.6 76.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 97.9 287.5 267.9 297.2 254.1 121.0 49.6 15.5 0.0 1,390.5
Percent possible sunshine 27.8 49.9 36.0 41.3 34.2 17.4 11.6 6.9 0.0 25.0
Source: Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010[5]

References[edit]

NASA landsat image of Prince Patrick Island
  1. ^ Prince Patrick Island at the Atlas of Canada
  2. ^ See Mould Bay photographs for types of construction.
  3. ^ M'Dougall, George F. (1857). The eventful voyage of H.M. discovery ship "Resolute" to the Arctic regions, in search of Sir John Franklin and the missing crews of H.M. discovery ships "Erebus" and "Terror," 1852, 1853, 1854. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts. 
  4. ^ Prince Patrick Island High Point, Northwest Territories
  5. ^ "Mould Bay A" (CSV (3069 KB)). Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Climate ID: 2502700. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Frebold, Hans. Fauna, Age and Correlation of the Jurassic Rocks of Prince Patrick Island. Ottawa: E. Cloutier, Queen's printer, 1957.
  • Harrison, J. C., and T. A. Brent. Basins and fold belts of Prince Patrick Island and adjacent areas, Canadian Arctic Islands. [Ottawa]: Geological Survey of Canada, 2005. ISBN 0-660-19008-7
  • Miller, F. L. Peary Caribou and Muskoxen on Prince Patrick Island, Eglinton Island, and Emerald Isle, Northwest Territories, July 1986. [Edmonton]: Canadian Wildlife Service, 1987. ISBN 0-662-15652-8
  • Pissart, A. The Pingos of Prince Patrick Island (760N - 1200W). Ottawa: National Research Council of Canada, 1970.
  • Tedrow, John C. F., P. F. Bruggemann, and Grant Fontain Walton. Soils of Prince Patrick Island. Research paper (Arctic Institute of North America), no. 44. Washington: Arctic Institute of North America, 1968.

External links[edit]