Monday, November 2, 2020

Cold Snap

Winter has suddenly made its presence known with sharply lower temperatures across much of the interior in the past few days, and last night saw widespread -20s Fahrenheit for the first time this season.  Click to enlarge:

The perennial cold spot of Chicken saw the state's first -40° this morning, and this is notably earlier than usual.  In Chicken itself it is the earliest -40° on record, but data only extends back to 1997; and in 2008 it was -39°F on October 28.

It's interesting to note that the first -20°F in Alaska was only 4 days ago (in Wiseman), and the first -30°F was just yesterday at Chicken.

In Fairbanks-land the usual cold spots did their thing (-28° near Goldstream Creek, -26° at Smith Lake, and -31° over at Salcha), but it was surprisingly cold in the hills too: for instance, -14° at 2150' elevation to the east of Eielson AFB.

Despite the cold, the Tanana River is not quite frozen up at Nenana; patchy ice was still flowing past the webcam today.

However, the Yukon froze up yesterday at Dawson City:


  1. The heights of cold over the surface are remarkable - yes 850mb was reported as being chilly - but aircraft recently departing Fairbanks created visibly condensed exhaust to 1500-2000' AGL and above. Higher and it's hard to see. That's observed at -30-40F ok, but for this time of year is unusual. Normally above 500-1000 AGL when warmer air is encountered exhaust plumes disappear.



    Somehow with all the current and forecast snow can we be in for another 1970-71 or 1989 winter? Prepare now.