Saturday, March 11, 2023

February and DJF Climate Anomalies

Just a quick post this weekend as I'm traveling - a look back at February and climatological winter (December-February).

February was the coldest month of the winter for the state as a whole, which happens about 20% of the time (compared to 47% for January and 33% for December).  The month was colder than the recent normal, but not by a large margin, and it would have been near-normal in earlier decades.


The winter as a whole was significantly warmer than normal because of the very warm January:

February precipitation was widely above normal for western and interior Alaska, but it was a relatively dry month for the northern Gulf coast.  This fits the bill for a typical La Niña winter pattern, and the DJF precipitation map shows broadly the same thing, despite the warmth being uncharacteristic of a traditional La Niña.

Finally, according to the ERA5 model, February wind was notably lacking for much of interior, southern, and western Alaska, despite the first of two big blizzards occurring in the latter part of the month in Kotzebue.

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