Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fairbanks November Above Freezing Days

The forecast for the next 5 days (at least) in Fairbanks is decidedly warm. Afternoon high temperatures could reach, or exceed freezing several times this week. Figure 1 shows the 5-day NWS temperature forecast (dark green line) along with the GFS and NAM modeled temperatures.

Figure 1. 5-day forecast from the NWS (dark green line) and several computer model temperature forecasts. Figure generated at 9:30 p.m. on November 9, 2014, from the Iowa State Meteogram generator.

How uncommon are high temperatures in the month of November that reach or exceed the freezing mark? On average, there are 2.7 such days per November in Fairbanks. The greatest number was 13 in 2002 and many years have had no days with a high temperature of 32°F or greater. Figure 2 shows the annual count of November days with a high temperature of 32°F or warmer. While the average number of above freezing days has slightly decreased since 1970 (3.0 days vs. 2.3 days), the number of days with a count of 0 has increased dramatically.

Figure 2. Days in November where the daily maximum temperature was at least 32°F.

Fairbanks is typically much colder than any place in the Lower 48 during the month of November. However, some stations do occasionally record high temperatures lower than Fairbanks on a given day in November. This coming week, some stations in the central part of the Lower 48 will experience high temperatures colder than Fairbanks on Wednesday through Saturday. Here are some places that might be colder than Fairbanks this week and the number of times between 1981 and 2010 (up to 900 total days) that their high temperature was lower than Fairbanks during the month of November:

Amarillo, TX: 2 occurrences
Chicago, IL: 13 occurrences
Cleveland, OH: 5 occurrences
Indianapolis, IN: 4 occurrences
Denver, CO: 30 Occurrences
St. Louis, MO: 4 occurrences

Figure 3. Map showing the climatological normal (1981-2010) number of days per November with a high temperature colder than Fairbanks.

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