Remarkable warmth has continued to build over eastern and southern Alaska, under the influence of a tremendous ridge of high pressure aloft. Yesterday the southern Panhandle community of Klawock reached 75°F, the earliest on record for such a high temperature anywhere in the state.
Fairbanks saw 64°F yesterday, close to a record for the date, and this was with plenty of snow still on the ground. Brian Brettschneider spotted that it was actually the warmest on record for such a substantial snow pack; the figure below illustrates this point. There have been warmer spring days with a lesser snow cover, but none so warm with more than a foot remaining.
Here's the early evening scene on the UAF campus today:
And here is yesterday afternoon's 500mb analysis, courtesy of Environment Canada. We've seen a lot of this in recent years, and it's amazing how the pattern flipped right back to its multi-year default after the excessive cold of 10 days ago. Notice too the northerly flow rushing down the other side of the ridge into western Canada and the Lower 48; folks down south are wondering where their spring disappeared to.