Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Still Wintry in Nome

Spring in Nome is always slow to arrive, and the weather in Nome has been characteristically miserable lately.  Measurable snow has fallen on five days this month, for a total of 2.3 inches, and temperatures have been hovering near freezing most days.  This is only a little unusual: snow is usually observed in Nome in May, and at least an inch falls in about half of all years.  Last year there were 11 days of snowfall in May with a record-high total of 10.8 inches.

Somewhat more unusual is the recent magnitude of the temperature difference between Nome and Fairbanks; while Nome has been cooler than normal, Fairbanks has been warmer than normal, and the difference has been particularly pronounced for daily maximum temperatures.  The chart below shows the difference in maximum temperatures since January 1 compared to the climatological normal difference, which rises dramatically in spring as the interior warms up relative to the coast.  At the end of April the climatological difference peaks at nearly 20 °F; this year since May 1 the mean difference has been 27 °F, which is surprisingly a record for the month-to-date.

The mean temperature anomaly chart for Nome shows that unusual warmth has dominated most of the year so far, with the recent cool conditions being a relatively insignificant anomaly.

No comments:

Post a Comment