Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fire Season Update

Alaska Fire Service, 8am June 30, 2012
Here's a plot of actives fires in Alaska from the Alaska Fire Service as of Saturday, June 30th. Thus far, estimated acreage burned is just under 135,000 acres. This more than 100,000 acres less than last year at the end of June and far below normal. Fire season still has four to six weeks to go, and a warm dry July could still bring problems, but so far, looking good. The cloudy, damp weather the past several days allowed AFS to get control of the Bear Creek and Allakaket Fires.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Light all Night

The view from UAF West Ridge looking south at 146am Wednesday, which is almost exactly solar midnight. Even with some clouds, street lights are not illuminated.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fire Season Roars to Life

Photo by RT
After a slow start, the warm and dry weather of the past week has kick started the fire season. The Alaska Fire Service reports that total acreage burned has jumped to over 100,000 acres as of Sunday morning. Here's a view of the Bear Creek fires, south of Anderson, as seen from the top of Murphy Dome about 510pm ADT Sunday. This is about 70 miles distant.

Record Heat

 Eagle (co-op) hit 90F on Saturday, a new record for the date, breaking the previous record of 88F set in 2004. Elsewhere, Fairbanks Airport hit 86F, while North Pole Aurora reported 85F. Up on Keystone Ridge, the high was 82F.
There were more than 2000 lightning strikes in the Interior scattered from the Yukon border west to Norton Sound. A few spots received a good downpour: Nenana received half an inch of rain in 30 minutes, but overall rain amounts were low.

Courtesy of the FAA
Here's a 6am view looking northwest from the Eagle Airport.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's a Hot One

June 23 2012 1200 UTC 500mb Analysis
Friday was the warmest day of the summer thus far across much of Interior Alaska, with highs in the 80s at low elevations and well into the 70s at high elevation.
The 500mb analysis at the right, courtesy of Environment Canada, shows a classic pattern for hot summer weather in Interior Alaska with a closed high centered over the central Yukon. 

Specific high temperatures include:

Eagle (Co-op): 87F
Mid-town Fairbanks: 83F
Woodsmoke: 83F
Fairbanks International: 82F
Goldstream Creek: 82F
North Pole: 82F
Tok: 80F
Keystone Ridge: 78F

Saturday looks to be a few degrees warmer as the airmass continues to warm. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sea Ice from Barrow

Barrow Webcam
Photo courtesy of the UAF Sea Ice Group

UAF's Barrow sea ice webcam has been down for a couple of weeks, but came back to life Wednesday. Here's the view Thursday morning, looking northwest from downtown Barrow. Some of the water visible is melt water on top of still stranded shorefast ice, but with lots of open water southwest of Barrow, the ice will likely go quickly, especially this weekend when winds become more easterly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First 80F Temperature at Fairbanks

The temperature topped out at 80F at the Fairbanks International Airport on Tuesday for the first time this summer. This is a week later than the average date of the first 80F temperature over the past 60 years. Fairbanks has never had a summer in the 106 years of observations when the temperature did not reach 80F, though in 1966 the high temperature for the summer was an even 80F.

Warm Day up North