Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Record Warmth Again

The warm, rainy conditions across interior Alaska have broken a number of longstanding records; here are a few, and I'm sure Rick and Brian can add more.

  • The 850 mb temperature above Fairbanks at 4 pm AKDT yesterday (9.4 °C) was the highest of record for so late in the season.  The previous record for this late or later was 8.6 °C on December 12, 1985.
  • The high temperature of 62 °F at Big Delta yesterday was by far the warmest recorded so late in the season; the previous record was 55 °F on (again) December 11, 1985.  Yesterday's high would have been the warmest so late in the season if it had occurred two weeks ago, because a temperature above 60 °F has never been recorded in Big Delta after October 13 (records back to 1941).
  • In Fairbanks, the high of 51 °F and low of 38 °F yesterday broke the Weather Bureau/NWS era daily records by 7 °F each.  Temperatures higher than this have been observed later in the year, but not since the 1930s.
  • Rick pointed out in an e-mail that this is the latest in the autumn that Fairbanks has ever observed measurable rain with no snow at all on the ground.  Rain has occurred later with snow already on the ground, but the rain with completely bare ground is unprecedented for the time of year.  The latest this has occurred before (since 1930) is October 24, in 1981.  This morning's soggy scene captured by the Alaska Climate Research Center webcam on UAF West Ridge (below) has never been seen before at this time of year.

The chart below shows the updated daily temperature anomalies for Fairbanks since August 1.  Remarkably, October so far is less than 1 °F cooler than the second half of September; and the October average high temperature is actually higher than in the second half of September.

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