Thursday, September 12, 2013

August and Summer Anomalies

The maps below show the August and climatological summer (June-August) temperature and precipitation anomalies for select observing sites in Alaska.  Red and green circles indicate above-normal temperature and precipitation respectively, while blue and brown circles indicate below-normal, relative to the 1981-2010 mean (temperature) and median (precipitation).  The size of the circles shows how far the anomalies departed from average, with larger circles indicating more unusual conditions.

For August, it's remarkable that every location experienced above-normal temperatures, although none of the anomalies was extreme: the highest standardized anomaly was at Cold Bay, where August mean temperature was 1.4 standard deviations above normal.  Both Cold Bay and Kodiak received more rainfall than in any August between 1981 and 2010, although neither location broke a record relative to the long-term history.

For the summer period of June through August, all locations were warmer than the 1981-2010 mean except for St Paul Island, which fell victim to the colder than normal Bering Sea temperatures.  Most locations were more than 1 standard deviation warmer than normal, and Gulkana temperatures were 2.2 SD above normal.  Interior and southeastern locations were much drier than average under the influence of the persistent ridge, but many coastal locations on the west side of the ridge were wet.  Barrow has seen above-median precipitation every month since March and had one of their wetter summers on record.

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