Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Climatology

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, it is a good time to see how Thanksgivings of years past have fared for Alaska's three largest cities. The following charts show the high and low temperatures for Thanksgiving day (gold bars) as well as any daily snowfall (cyan). The normal maximum and minimum lines are based on the 30-year climate normal period that corresponds to the date in question. The lines appear staggered because Thanksgiving occurs on a different calendar day each year. The normal values represent the value on the day that Thanksgiving fell on that year. (Note: snowfall measurements, particularly for Anchorage, are frequently missing in the early years shown on the charts)


  1. Interesting to see that for Juneau the diurnal range appears to depend strongly on temperature. This makes sense, but I hadn't considered it before. Also the daily temperature distribution looks like it may be quite skewed or non-Gaussian.

    1. Yes, 66% of Thanksgiving days in Juneau are above normal (66% of max's and 66% on min's). It turns out that Juneau's temperatures, particularly in the winter months, are strongly right skewed. It is pretty hit or miss. Above normal temps with small diurnal ranges or well below normal temps with a large diurnal range.

  2. It's been 41 yrs since I lived in Juneau. On rainy days the temps seemed to remain fairly constant, perhaps that's reflected in the above normals above. A look at precip vs temp by year may offer a clue.

    On clear days, particularly with a north to east wind coming off the glaciers and ice fields, the temps would vary some depending on solar input and wind direction. I walked to work quite some distance and could expect to suffer a bit on clear windy days. The rain was easier to deal with unless it was windy.


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