Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Chukchi Beach

It's been a dramatic turnaround for temperatures in Alaska over the past few days, as the brief seasonal chill was quickly replaced by highly unusual warmth once again over much of the state.  Deep southerly flow has pushed warm air all the way up into the Arctic, and temperatures have been widely above freezing in western and southern parts of Alaska since yesterday.

As an illustration of the unusual conditions, the village of Kivalina on the Chukchi Sea coast has been above freezing (up to 39°F) with a strong offshore breeze since yesterday, and the FAA webcam shows open water along the coast.  It's striking to see the afternoon sun poke just slightly above a horizon of open water; tomorrow's sunset will be the last of the year in Kivalina.  For reference, the 1981-2010 climate normal points to a typical daily mean temperature of +5°F on this date.

Here's a view of sunrise today in Kivalina at about 1pm local time:

And here's a simple animation of the beach scene.

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