Saturday, April 6, 2019

Meltout in Fairbanks

Snow depth dropped to only a trace in Fairbanks on Thursday, according to the daily NWS climate report, meaning that April 4th marked this year's meltout of the seasonal snowpack.  Somewhat surprisingly this is not the earliest on record; that distinction belongs to 1970, which saw meltout one day earlier, although snow returned that very same day in 1970 and then remained for another 10 days.  The earliest for a permanent meltout (no subsequent observations of an inch or more of snow depth) was just 3 years ago: April 9, 2016.

Here's a chart of Fairbanks meltout date since 1930.  As noted on previous occasions, there is no long-term trend, and it's possible that this has to do with greater late winter snow depths in recent decades - see here for my comments from 2016.

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