Monday, April 11, 2011

When will the snow melt?

As of Monday morning, there was 19 inches of snow on the ground at the Fairbanks Airport.
This is somewhat above median for the date, and so how does this bode for melt out?

In the past 30 years, the Airport has had 19 or more inches of snow on the ground on April 11th seven times. Here are the years and the date of melt out (first day without measurable snow on the ground):

1985: 31 inches: May 9th
1989: 21 inches: April 25th
1991: 46 inches: May 7th
1992: 30 inches: May 7th
1993: 23 inches: Apr 24th
2000: 20 inches: April 27th
2009: 23 inches: April 29th
2011: 19 inches: ?

Based on just this small sample, you'd expect that 1) melt out will be later than the long term average of Apr 20th and 2) sometime in the last week of the month is the most likely.

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