Winter has suddenly made its presence known with sharply lower temperatures across much of the interior in the past few days, and last night saw widespread -20s Fahrenheit for the first time this season. Click to enlarge:
The perennial cold spot of Chicken saw the state's first -40° this morning, and this is notably earlier than usual. In Chicken itself it is the earliest -40° on record, but data only extends back to 1997; and in 2008 it was -39°F on October 28.
It's interesting to note that the first -20°F in Alaska was only 4 days ago (in Wiseman), and the first -30°F was just yesterday at Chicken.
In Fairbanks-land the usual cold spots did their thing (-28° near Goldstream Creek, -26° at Smith Lake, and -31° over at Salcha), but it was surprisingly cold in the hills too: for instance, -14° at 2150' elevation to the east of Eielson AFB.
Despite the cold, the Tanana River is not quite frozen up at Nenana; patchy ice was still flowing past the webcam today.
However, the Yukon froze up yesterday at Dawson City: