Where the Cold Air is REALLY Cold!

| January 31, 2012 @ 10:56 am

* It is 60 below zero this hour at Bettles, Alaska.

* Yesterday it was 62 below zero at Fort Yukon, which happens to be the only location in Alaska to record a hot 100 degrees!

* The current wind chill is 73 below zero at Shungnak, Alaska

* Deadhorse is reporting a wind chill of 72 below with a temperature of -46

* 70 inches of snow on the ground at Valdez and 88 inches on the ground at Yakutat

* Coldest (?) in the Lower 48 this morning was “only” 14 below at Houlton, Maine.


That “honor ” goes to Ojmjakon, in Siberia, billed as the coldest place on earth that is continuously inhabited. It is “only” 44 below there at this hour, but their forecast is for 71 below by next week. It is so cold that fire trucks leave the motor running 24 hours a day and when someone passes away, they have to build a fire over where the grave is to be to soften the ground.


When I was still in the National Weather Service before retiring in 1989, for three winters in a row, I watched closely Alaska and especially the CanadianYukon Territory for a buildup of bitter cold. When the temperature in that area would get colder than -50 and the barometer higher than 1050 or 1060 millibars, there would be a breakout of a big chunk of that bitter cold and it would head southward…and occasionally passing the “Welcome to Alabama” roadsigns within 7 or 8 days. It seemed to happen more often than not.

Not to worry. The surface pressures in the Yukon and Alaska are not that high at all this morning. So we do not see a big invasion of bitter cold into Alabama anytime soon. However, there is a chance we may get a big dose before winter is over. I have no idea when but we still have plenty of time.

Category: Headlines, Winter Weather

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