Yukon Research Centre WP&YR Weather Data Sets, 1902-1957

Sternwheeler trainWhite Pass and Yukon Route logbooks spanning the period 1902-1957 (Yukon Archives, White Pass and Yukon Route fonds, Meteorological Records, 82/452) contain daily observations of weather conditions, river and lake ice, water levels and other aspects of company business. A total of at least 77,966 Observations were made at 30 locations along the railway line and along the waterways between Atlin, B.C and Dawson City, YT.

The WP&YR weather data is a source of historical data which helps to fill spatial and temporal gaps in the record for the upper Yukon River basin. It should be a valuable aid to climatologists and others wishing to study the climate of this area for the first half of the twentieth century.

The Yukon Research Centre accessed these log books from the Yukon Archives. Over the period of a couple of years, researchers scanned or photographed the log books and transcribed the temperature and precipitation data into spreadsheets. These were then imported into data sets which  can be geo-located (though locations of specific stations are often just approximate).

Frequency and type of observations vary quite widely, and knowledge of what kind of instrumentation was used, or what kind of rigor was observed, remain unknown and for practical purposes unknowable.Nevertheless, in a region so data-poor as the Yukon, we believe these data will be of considerable interest and importance to environmental researchers.

Other potential information of interest (such as dates of river freeze up or break up, water heights, etc.) are also available from these records for future research projects.

Back to Home Page