Saturday, May 28, 2011

Heat and Strong Inversions

The high of 85F on Friday at Fairbanks International easily broke the previous record of 82F set way back in 2010, and was the warmest May temperature since 1995. Most long term observation sites also set record highs, including 85F at Tanana, 82F at Bettles and 79F at Fort Greely (where some from the Volkmar East fire may have kept temps a couple degrees cooler).
Based on data since 1918, the 85F at Tanana appears to have tied the all-time May record high temperature.

Other high temperatures included 86F a Goldstream Valley Bottom, 84F at Nenana, 83F at North Pole and 79F here on Keystone Ridge.

In order to get this hot, fairly clear skies and a dry airmass are required, and these are the same ingredients needed for a decent nocturnal inversion. And lo, here are some low temperature Friday morning:

Salcha River RAWS: 30F
Goldstream Creek: 34F
Goldstream Valley Bottom: 36F
North Pole: 43F
Fairbanks IA: 49F
Keystone Ridge: 58F
Cleary Summit: 61F

So in spite of the fact the sun is up for 20 hours a day, we had an early morning inversion that would be respectable in December!

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