Thursday, July 26, 2018

Warm and Humid on the North Slope

After a slow start to the warm season, much higher temperatures have reached the North Slope in the past couple of weeks.  On Tuesday the airport at Deadhorse saw a high temperature of 80°F, making this the fourth consecutive summer that 80°F has been reached or exceeded there.  Of course the all-time heat record of 85°F was set in 2016, as discussed here.  But prior to 2015, the site went 13 years without getting out of the 70s.

It's also worth noting that the humidity has been very high, relative to normal, in recent days.  According to the ASOS instrument at the Deadhorse airport, the dewpoint reached 61°F on Sunday evening, and the daily mean dewpoint was almost the highest on record - only a couple of days in 2004 were higher.  The top-quality 5-minute data from the nearby CRN site tell the same story, with a peak dewpoint of 62°F on Sunday evening, and Sunday was the most humid (highest dewpoint) of any day in the short history of the CRN site at Deadhorse.

For context, the highest dewpoint so far in Fairbanks this summer is 58°F, and only two of Alaska's 21 CRN sites have seen a higher dewpoint than Deadhorse this summer (i.e. Nowitna NWR and Selawik Refuge).

1 comment:

  1. This is very bad news for the permafrost. I wonder how much melting and ground subsidence took place since the lately occurrence of tropical summers in the North Slope.