This afternoon's balloon sounding from Fairbanks measured a column maximum temperature of +9 °F, which is - remarkably - the coldest such measurement of the season so far. Much colder conditions are on the way; western Alaska is feeling a chill already, with Kotzebue reporting a stiff northwesterly breeze and temperatures hovering around -6 °F all day.
In what will be a nice change of scene both for residents and this blogger, we should have some material to discuss on the cold side in the next week or so. Latest GFS MOS numbers for next Tuesday include -36 °F in Fairbanks, -48 °F in Eagle, and -59 °F in Chicken. This is a long-range forecast, but gives a sense of what is easily possible given the cold airmass and the date on the calendar.
Here's this afternoon's sounding: at last, just a smidge cooler than normal at 850 mb.