Winter is hanging on with considerable tenacity across Alaska, with another strong trough bringing a blast of renewed cold air from west to east yesterday and today. Nome hasn't climbed out of the single digits Fahrenheit yet today, and Fairbanks is hovering near 15°F in the westerly breeze this evening. These are very chilly conditions for the time of year, although in Fairbanks it's nowhere near the level of April 2013, when the 7th of the month brought a high of only 11°F and a low of -10°F.
This morning's 500m analysis from Environment Canada shows the upper-level trough centered over the Brooks Range, and the plotted observations indicate a 500mb temperature of -42°C at both Fairbanks and Anchorage (click to enlarge below). This is the coldest mid-tropospheric air so late in the winter since 2013 at both sites, and it's a continued symptom of the strong and cold Arctic vortex that has dominated the boreal high latitudes for most of the winter.
But on the bright side for those who are tired of all this, a huge warm-up is looking quite likely for next week. Remarkably, NOAA's probabilistic forecast is showing a median temperature forecast of 62°F in Fairbanks next Friday (the 17th), and that means they're calculating a 50-50 chance that it will be even warmer than that. We'll see... 10 days is a long way out in Alaska weather forecasts.
Update 4/7: here's the link for the probabilistic forecast:
The probability distribution values can be accessed via "Text Products" on the left menu. Here's yesterday's Max/Min Temp CDF (Cumulative Distribution Function) product for Fairbanks: