Churchill weather versus lodge weather

There are no weather stations at our lodges, so we rely on Churchill forecasts as a gauge. However, conditions can vary drastically between town and our lodges and no matter how carefully we plan, weather can quickly throw us off course. Conditions change quickly and constantly in the north, so leading up to and on changeover days, our lodge manager is in constant communication with our staff on the ground in Churchill.

We know it’s frustrating to hear from someone on our team that your flight to the lodge is delayed due to low visibility at the lodge. Perplexing, too, when you’re standing on the tarmac in Churchill and the skies are mostly clear. Unfortunately, scenarios like this do happen, and most of the time delays are minor.

We do our best to transfer guests to and from the lodge as efficiently as possible, but sometimes we’re at the mercy of mother nature. Safety comes first!

Churchill, MB Current Weather Conditions

Churchill Weather

View Current Weather Conditions
in Churchill, Manitoba

Temperature Patterns

Situated at 58 degrees of latitude, Churchill, Manitoba has a subarctic continental climate. This climate is characterised by long, cold winters (check!) and short, cool summers (check!).

Arctic summer is absolutely beautiful. When our season starts in July, the average daily temperature is around 15° Celsius (59°F). These types of temperatures continue throughout most of August until Autumn arrives.

September is a month of varied and rapidly changing weather. Temperatures start dropping and the first frost occurs, marking the start of the most colourful season when foliage turns shades of orange, red and gold. Average highs and lows in September are between 9°C and 3°C, respectively (equal to 48 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit).

In October, the temperatures start cooling off and the bear activity starts heating up. The cooler weather and impending sea ice trigger them to start sparring in anticipation of mating season out on the ice.

The average high experienced in October is 1°C (33°F) and temperatures drop down to an average of -4°C (24°F).

November gets even chillier with average highs and lows both in the negative; around -9°C (16°F) and -16°C (3°F), respectively.

The next few months get even colder, but our lodges shut down in late November and we head south to Winnipeg where it’s slightly warmer.

In March, a few brave souls head back up for a special expedition to see moms and cubs emerging from their dens. It’s colder than October or November, but it’s also peak northern lights season.

The wind chill factor

Often, guests from warmer or more temperate climates aren’t accustomed to the breathtaking effect of wind.

Wind chill temperature is how cold it actually feels outside when wind is a factor. The wind strips away the warm air near your skin and can drive “feels-like” temperatures down by an average of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. For instance, if you’re at the lodge in November and the temperature reads -10°C (14°F) but the wind is blowing at 30 km/h (18 mph), it will actually feel like -20°C (-4°F) when you step outside.

The prevailing winds in the Churchill area are from the north, bringing extreme cold in the late fall and winter months. The winds start picking up in September with some of the highest speeds in November, often leading to delayed flights to/from our lodges. Historical data shows average wind speeds around 25 km/h (15 mph) in November, but it’s not uncommon to experience much stronger winds, or gusts exceeding 60 km/h winds.

Not only does this make flying unsafe, but it makes excursions very chilly. Our staff and guides will make sure you’re adequately prepared before you head up to the lodge and keep an eye on you on really cold days. Hypothermia can sneak up on a person and frostbite can occur in minutes when temperatures and wind chills are extreme. We’ve got you covered with all the gear and recommendations needed to keep you safe and warm while out on the tundra. Check out our packing list for more info.


Most subarctic climates have relatively little precipitation, typically no more than 380 mm (15 in) over an entire year. Away from the coasts, precipitation occurs mostly in the warmer months, while in coastal areas with subarctic climates the heaviest precipitation is usually during the autumn months when the relative warmth of the Bay is greatest. (Wikipedia)

Our location on the coast means we receive slightly more annual precipitation than inland areas with a similar climate, about 410 mm (16 in) per year on average. August through November is when the bulk of the precipitation is received with nearly half of the annual rain and snow falling during this time. August is generally the wettest month, typically seeing about 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain while October is usually the month with the most snowfall.