Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April Cold Snap

For the second year in a row, interior Alaska is experiencing winter-like temperatures with April already well under way.  Fairbanks airport reached -12 °F this morning, which ties the record for the date from 1986, and Bettles hit -22 °F.  The automated computer forecast for Bettles calls for -28 °F tonight, which would be the coldest ever observed there so late in the season... we'll see.  This is what a cold air mass, 28" snow pack, and clear skies can do, even with 15 hours of sunshine daily at this time of year; and remarkably, it wasn't even flat calm at Bettles last night.

Some other notably cold temperatures from last night:

Goldstream Creek: -16 °F
Galena -17 °F
Tanana -15 °F

And farther north:

Lake Galbraith -31 °F
Nuiqsut -31 °F
Umiat -31 °F
Barrow USCRN site: -33 °F


  1. Don't despair. The Sun will soon prevail. Today under clear skies and +11 F temps late morning I witnessed snow melting on local streets.

    Later I turned my recently ice cladded car sideways to the Sun and a half inch soon disappeared on one side, but not the other in the shade.


    1. That is an excellent example of why the snow season is so much more severe in Alaska than cold cities in the Lower 48. The solar elevation in Fairbanks today at local noon was 29.7° above the horizon. In Chicago, for example, the solar elevation on January 26th reaches 29.6° above the horizon.