When we first moved to Nunavut, we complained about how cold it was when the first snow started to appear in September/October. People just laughed at us, and that was generally followed by some form of "Just wait. Cold is coming." When the temperature consistently dipped below -20 (before the windchill), we asked, "is this cold yet?" and the answer was still no.
It's as though Mother Nature herself has a calendar that she follows because 2013 has seen a drop in temperature since it's rolled into town, a noticeable difference from the temperatures of last week, even. When your face aches walking from the car to your front door...I'd say that's cold. Finally, we had people agreeing, "It's cold out...but it will still get colder!" Not exactly what you want to hear!
So how cold is it in Nunavut? I'm sure more Northern communities are colder, but here in Baker Lake we are looking at a trend of temperatures in the -30s but with the windchill it has gone to the -50s. I think the coldest I have seen so far is -53 (and that was not a good day to be outside). There is a lot of wind here with no trees to block it, so it makes it 100x worse. Your eyes will literally sting from the wind.
Temperature and wind aside, we also have a lot of snow on the ground that gets blown around. It's not constantly snowing, but if there's wind, it looks like it's snowing all the time because it blows everything everywhere. We're not talking a small amount either, large drifts can build up in minutes because the wind blows a lot. When the forecast calls for 5cm of snow and high wind, it could mean a blizzard because the falling snow blends with the blowing snow and it turns into a white mess. The plows here are constantly out on the roads clearing them because drifts build up so quickly. There is a certain beauty in watching snow blow across a stretch of road - it looks like a fog machine has come and is blowing gentle streams of fog across your path. One of these days I'll take my camera out and take some shots for you to really see what I mean.
What boggles my mind is as cold as it is, this isn't even as cold as it will be. How much different will -65 feel compared to -53? After a while, isn't cold just cold? Apparently we're going to find out in the next little bit. To be honest though, if it doesn't get any colder, I won't be complaining! At least we are getting our money's worth out of our parkas and other winter gear we bought!