Objective Comments and Analysis - All Science, No Politics
Contributions by Richard James and Rick Thoman
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Cold start…but Not Unprecedented
I've heard that the current cold snap over Alaska has been labeled by some media outlets as "historic" or "unprecedented". I'm not interested in surfing the net to find such quotes, but here's the fact: across much of central and eastern Interior Alaska, this is the coldest late November to early December since 1948. To the left is a plot of mean daily temperatures at Fairbanks comparing the two years. On the whole, 1948 was considerably colder, and that's the case for other places (e.g. Northway, Delta Junction). So, a claim that this is the coldest "early winter" in 65 years would be true, but it has been colder this early in the season before.