The Devil's Highway
Weather Station Eureka
Location: 80.083 N 86.417 W
Elevation: 0 masl – 610 masl
The Weather Station:
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 temperature3 and the lowest amount of precipitation of any weather station in Canada.
The Eureka weather station was established in 1947 and has been manned continously since then. Environment Canada established the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory (AStrO) in 1992 and Eureka has had a permanent scientific component since AStrO began operation. In 2005 the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) began operating the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) as a continuously staffed facility and did so until December of 2011, at which time it reverted to the campaign style operation of the AStrO era. Weather-station and CANDAC staff inhabit Eureka year round with the population increasing during the summer and dwindling to 10 or less during the winters.
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 polar bear, caribou, walrus, narwhale, musk oxen, 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.
At 80N, Eureka is well north of the treeline where the main biome is tundra. Geological features in the area include glaciers, low mountains, and the ocean. The Quttinirpaaq National Park is located to the north of Eureka and encompasses 1/5 of the island’s surface area.
Weather Station Layout:
The base consists of three areas:
• the Eureka Aerodrome which includes “Fort Eureka” (the quarters for military personnel maintaining the island’s communications equipment)
• the Environment Canada Weather Station
• the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), formerly the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory (AStrO)
• And also the Zero Altitude PEARL Auxilary Laboratory (0PAL).
Nearby Military Bases
CFS Alert, Ellesmere
CFS Northern Area Headquarters, Yellowknife
Nearby Research Bases
Resolute Research Base
Mould Bay Research Base
All of the bay area around Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island and the rest of the sea north of Nunavut is believed to be frozen over. Temperatures are regularly sub-zero.
Mike McCutcheon – Security Chief