It’s been a cold winter across most of Alaska. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last. During every winter there are relatively colder and warmer periods. This year these cold snaps and warm spells seem to be aligned pretty well to the calendar months: November was cold, December warm, and January…one of the coldest, especially for the rail belt and everywhere west. Check out the write-ups from Weather Service personnel in Anchorage http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/papers/THE%20COLD%20FACTS.pdf and Fairbanks https://nwschat.weather.gov/p.php?pid=201202012052-PAFG-NOAK49-PNSAFG. February is staring off with a big warm-up, thanks to a strong low barreling into Alaska’s midsection like a gut punch. I’m not making any promise that this trend will hold for February. It does look like a week to 10 days’ break for from the cold, but beyond that, I’d be surprised if we don’t get a fair amount of more cold weather (and snow for the coastal and near coastal areas) before the winter is over. See the Climate Prediction Center for more. For this post, however, I want to zero in on an interesting pattern that seems evident during the worst of the cold snaps. Let’s start with this map, used by permission of the Anchorage Daily News.
The figures show the coldest temperature (degrees F) endured at each city over this past weekend (28-29 Jan). (more…)