Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Bottom has been Reached

For those looking forward to the end of winter, here's another piece of encouragement: the bottom of the normal temperature curve in Fairbanks has been reached. To the left is a plot of the NCDC 1981-2010 normal daily temperatures. The inflection point is today and tomorrow. Thereafter it's up, up up til early July. Combined with the 30% increase in possible sunshine since solstice, can springtime, Interior style be far away?


  1. Winter in Alaska can be like some sunspot cycles...they double peak before they quit. By that I mean most tend to peak once, then drop to a minimum. However, some peak twice before quitting. Here we go.

    Theory: If it's warm now, it may get cold, way cold, before it warms up via solar heating in March.

    Next much does the average temp vary between October and March inclusive? If it's tight, where are we, and what can we expect to meet the average this winter?


    1. Gary, do you want to see the a plot of, say, mean temperature for the cold season (Oct-Mar) through the years?

    2. Hi Rick...Yes.

      I'm not trying to gen-up a make work project for you as you're busy enough. But it seems that over years the average annual Alaskan temps have "reportedly" varied little, with maybe some decadal trends. Given our recent winter weirdness, I'm wondering if:

      Is there an annual buffering effect (colder winter= warmer summer) leading to a relatively stable annual temp?

      Are the winters, per your suggested plot above, visibly or statistically similar or dissimilar, say from October through March, when solar influence is minimal? I suppose a measure of variability (SD, etc.) is applicable as well. That's work.

      The data is here (, but I haven't mined it yet.

      Just curious as to how this winter compares with others, and what we may expect in terms of future temps to reach normality.