Observed Changes in One-in-20 Year Extremes of Canadian Surface Air Temperatures

<div><p>Weather and climate extremes are often associated with substantial adverse impacts on society and the environment. Assessment of changes in extremes is of great and broad interest. This study first homogenizes daily minimum and maximum surface air temperatures recorded at 146 stations in Canada. In order to assess changes in one-in-20 year extremes (i.e., extremes with a 20-year return period) in temperature, annual maxima and minima of both daily minimum temperatures and daily maximum temperatures are derived from the homogenized daily temperature series and analyzed with a recently developed extreme value analysis approach based on a tree of generalized extreme value distributions (including stationary and non-stationary cases). The procedure is applied to estimate the changes over the period 1911 to 2010 at 115 stations, located mainly in southern Canada, and over the period 1961 to 2010 at 146 stations across Canada (including 37 stations in the North). The results show that warming is strongest for extreme low temperature and weakest for extreme high temperature and is much stronger in the Canadian Arctic than in southern Canada. Warming is stronger in winter than in summer and stronger during nighttime than daytime of the same season.</p></div>