Saturday, March 22, 2014

Winter Temperatures 2013-2014

This week I ran the temperature numbers for climatological winter (December, January, and February) for Alaska. As most Alaska residents can attest to, this winter was warmer than normal. An extremely warm January was somewhat offset by a cooler December and February. The first map shows the statewide winter temperature values by climate division and the second map shows the winter temperatures in the Fairbanks area.

The climate divisions are a relatively new statewide organizational grouping of similar regions by Bieniek et al. (2012). Of the 13 climate divisions, 12 were above normal for the winter. Only Juneau's region was below normal. For the Fairbanks area, nearly every station was 3°F to 4°F above average for the winter.

Figure 1. Winter 2013-2014 temperature and temperature departure by climate division. All stations that reported temperatures for at least 15 days were utilized. Similarly, the 1981-2010 normals were calculated using stations that reported data at least 15 days for the month.

Figure 2. Winter 2013-2014 temperature and temperature departure for the Fairbanks area. The departure values are not based on NCDC published values. They are a departure from average for those stations with at least 5+ years of data (note: no RAWS stations are included).

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