Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Record Cold Again in the Interior

Lots of record lows and record low max temperatures in the Interior Monday and Tuesday. Here's some records (slightly reworded) from the NWS statements:

Fairbanks set a new record low max temperature May 13th when the high only reached 37 degrees. The previous low max  temperature was 40 degrees in 1937. The low temperature on the 13th of 22 degrees was also a record, breaking the previous record of 26 degrees set in 1928. 

Bettles set a new record low temperature May 12th with a low of 15 degrees. The old record low was 20 degrees set in 2007. Bettles again set records May 13th as temperatures dropped to 11 degrees and only climbed to 27 degrees. The previous record  low for this day was 22 low in 1986 and the old record low max was 34 degrees in 1986. 

College Observatory on UAF West Ridge tied the old record low of 22 low on May 12th. The previous occurrence at this temperature 
was in 1954. On May 13th a new low was set with temperature dropping to 21 above. The old record was set at 24 low in 1964. 

 Eielson AFB set a new record low of 22 low May 12th. The old record was 26 low in 1965. May 13th temperatures set a new low of 22 low breaking the old record of 26 set in 1954. The high temperature on May 13th only reached 38 degrees setting a new record  low max that of 40 degrees that was set in 1992. 

Galena broke two records May 13th. A new record low temperature of 13 low when the old record was 16 low in 1965. A new low  max temperature of 31 degrees breaks the old record of 34 degrees in 1965. 

Tanana set a new record low max temperature May 13th when highs only reached 34 degrees. the previous record low max was  37 degrees set in 1918. Denali National Park Headquarters recorded a low temperature of 14 degrees the morning of the 13th. This broke the previous record of 17 set in 1957.  


  1. Rick,

    The persistence of the cold anomaly is mind-boggling. If I'm not mistaken, Fairbanks hasn't had a daily-mean temperature above normal (1981-2010 normal) since April 3, making 42 days in a row. The last time such a long cold spell occurred (again, using 1981-2010 as a reference) was in the summer of 1959, and the last time it went more than 42 days was in the winter of 1943 (55 days by my count). Considering that "normal" was cooler back then, I wonder if there's ever been a longer cold spell relative to recent norms.


  2. Thanks to Rick's Blog we can appreciate what's happening.

    Now here comes yet another winter blast cold front from the NW. I'm glad I'm not a mosquito.


  3. Richard,

    This is an interesting question. I think there's two ways to look at this. One is to use the normals that were in effect at the time, so for 1959 that was the 1921-1950 period and July had a couple of days that were (just barely) above normal. The other would be to use some long period mean. Given the importance of PDO in Alaska weather and climate, maybe a 1946-2006 period that gets a complete PDO cycle. I've done this for computing standardized daily anomalies, but I'll have check on the longest streaks. In any case, since this streak is likely to continue until the middle of next week, this must be close no matter what the base period.