Alaska Not Always Cold

| February 19, 2009 @ 10:46 pm | 6 Replies

I do not know why I am so fascinated by Alaska. I have never been there. I guess it is because of the temperature extremes and Alaska is, by far, our largest state, If you overlay a map of Alaska on our “Lower 48” it would reach from San Francisco to Savannah and Jacksonville.

Earlier this winter there were several reports of low temperatures colder than 60 below zero. The small community of Chicken had a low of 68 below.

Not so cold up there now. The coldest yesterday morning was minus 20 at Atqasuk. Fairbanks even got above freezing yesterday.

A lot of Alaska has substantial snow cover. Nome, for example, has 51 inches on the ground and so does Valdez.

Alaska is known for its bitter cold, but they can also have some unusual warm spells in summer. In the summer of 1999, in early August, it reached 88 at Ft. Yukon equal to an all-time August record. Their records go back to 1899. By the way, Ft. Yukon is the only weather station in Alaska to ever record 100. Also in that 1999 heat, it got up to 93 at Chalkytsik.

Even in the Deep South, we always keep a wary winter eye pointed northwest to watch for bitter cold buildups in NW Canada and Alaska. We know that eventually it will break away and head south. At the moment, we do not see any immediate sign of that happening.

Even so, we can still get some good cold outbreaks from Southern Canada and the snow covered northern U.S. states.

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