Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Breakup Update

This is just a quick update to note that Fairbanks thawing degree days exceeded 100 yesterday, which is not far off the record pace of 1940; but a cooler air mass has moved in and the next week appears likely to be cooler; so a record early breakup at Nenana (before April 20) no longer appears quite as likely.  The chart below shows the updated 2016 TDD trajectory (solid line) along with the latest GFS MOS forecast through the 20th (dotted line).


In Fairbanks it appears that the Chena River has gone out or is about to:


Regular readers should note that I'll be traveling in Europe for the rest of this month, so posting will probably be sporadic and brief.

9 comments:

  1. The Chena has started to pick up speed as substantial breakup has started to occur. In the next few days the river's level will rise.

    I wonder how well correlated speed up/water rise of the Chena is related to the breakup of the Nenana?

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  2. My first guess was the 19th this year. Any earlier would be a statistical anomaly of great magnitude. I'm hoping we hold on that long! It'll be in the next 10 days almost guaranteed.

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  3. Ice Classic update 4/19/16. Still winter west of Fairbanks and big lakes there have snow over a full winter's ice:

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/nenana-ice-classic-makes-final-ice-measurement/article_f7c14442-05fa-11e6-bb99-3b29c83d7898.html

    Gary

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  4. The Kuskokwim River is about to trip the tripod in Bethel. This is unprecedented. I don't believe the Kusko has ever gone out before the Tanana at Nenana, and it is a full 10 days earlier than any other breakup date since I've been alive.

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    1. Thanks Andy, that is very interesting and indeed remarkable. I see the record earliest at Bethel was April 24, in 1940, the same year as the record at Nenana.

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  5. On the other hand, there may be relief from 3 years of exceptionally mild conditions on the horizon: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/clim/sst.anom.anim.week.html

    Note the cold water starting to pool near Ecuador.

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    1. The latest CFS v.2 forecasts keep the south and west coasts of Alaska in the warm water for the foreseeable future. Interestingly, they it really tries to cool off the Arctic Ocean. Not sure if I buy that. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/wwang/cfsv2fcst/htmls/glbSSTe3Sea.html

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  6. Sometimes folks have to deal with change:

    http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/earliest-breakup-on-record-begins-on-the-yukon-river-at-dawson-city/39193918

    Gary

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