Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Yoyo Goes On

Now that the next "warm phase" of the winter is well underway for Interior Alaska, here's an updated plot of standardized daily temperature anomalies at Fairbanks. For the most part, it's been either one or the other. Since November 1st, 54% of the days (55 out of 102) days have had an average daily temperature 1.0 or more standard deviations from the mean. If temperatures were normally distributed (which in general is not the case), we would expect about 32 such days. In the El Niño winter of 2009-10, Nov 1-Feb 10 had only 24 days ±1.0 standard deviation from the daily normal. Got all that?


  1. Haha! As an armchair weather watcher, probably not ;-) But very useful graph of the situation. Some might say "normal" for winter - you get what you get.

  2. Terry,

    This appears to be a feature of La Niña winters, with a tendency to have extended periods of much below AND much below normal temperatures in Interior Alaska, whereas El Niño winters are perhaps more likely to more consistently "slightly above normal". There is probably some correlation too with the strength of the El Niño/La Niña.

    As you said though, "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get."


  3. So one of the coldest January is followed by perhaps one of the warmest february on record. Meanwhile, it is consistently cold in eastern europe and siberia. It's funny that the cold wave ended right on the on the first of February.

  4. February will not be near record warmth in the Interior, but will likely be well above normal. December through January will likely wind up close to normal, which no one will believe!