Saturday, October 6, 2012

Record Warmth at Barrow

Courtesy of UAF Sea Ice Group
The temperature at Barrow on Friday reached 41F at Barrow, breaking the previous record of 39F set in 1925, and just two degrees from the record high for the month of October. At the left is the Sea Ice cam photo from 930am Saturday. Notice anything odd in this picture? If you said "no snow on the ground", you'd be right. Barrow gone this late in the autumn without any snow on the ground just five times in the past 95 years. Four of those years have been since 1998.


  1. Rick,

    In your opinion is there a good chance that this unusual warmth could persist or return in the winter months for interior and northern Alaska? Looking at some data from Fairbanks, it seems that the warmest Octobers in the history tended to be followed by unusually warm winters (Dec-Feb). I'm curious whether you think the same might happen this year, or is a cold winter more likely?

    Richard James
    Athens GA

  2. Richard, Thanks for your question.

    I'll take a look and write-up a separate post in a day or two. For now, PDO Index remains very negative and the ENSO signal suggests that the El Niño will be no more than weak. PDO is by far the stronger correlation. Stay tuned.


  3. Update as of 10 26 2012, per NWS Fairbanks: the Temp departure from normal is now 9.1 degrees Farenheit. With the sea ice still afr from the coast, higher than normal temps will probably make October 2012 one for the record books.

  4. Yes, it is nearly certain that Barrow will have either the warmest or second warmest October of record. I'll have a new post in the next day or two. Rick