Tuesday through Saturday AM rainfall forecast from the GFS. This does not include the rains that have already fallen. For Nome-land this is in the "unprecedented" territory. For Kotzebue and east, August 1994 is the only similar event. #akwx @Climatologist49 @KNOMnews @KotzNews pic.twitter.com/YMNk47HVoN— Rick Thoman (@AlaskaWx) July 27, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
The last couple of days have seen some remarkable thunderstorm activity in western and far northern Alaska. Here are maps of lightning strikes from Monday and Tuesday, courtesy of the AICC:
On Monday, the 1500 lightning strikes west of 160°W (the longitude of Selawik) was the 5th highest for a single day in the 2012-present history of the lightning network in its present form.
But yesterday's action was relatively much more impressive, with more than 850 strikes north of 70°N; this is the highest daily total north of 70°N in the Alaska sector, by a multiple of well over 3. The previous record was only 240 strikes, on June 20, 2013. However, it's worth noting that the same day - and the next - in 2013 saw much more lightning farther inland on the North Slope.
A nice view of an approaching thunderstorm and its dramatic passage yesterday was provided by the FAA weather cameras at Atqasuk, just 60 miles inland from Utqiaġvik. Some of the scenes looked like something from the U.S. midwestern states - for example check out this shelf cloud:
A very interesting roll cloud developed along the edge of the cold outflow as the storm moved over:
Here are some simple animations from 3 different angles:
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Courtesy of Rick Thoman:
Scattering of low temperatures at or just below freezing in a few of the usual Interior low spots Saturday morning. Does not happen every July but not especially unusual. #akwx @akswingley @Climatologist49 pic.twitter.com/UwwIhXg4Z4— Rick Thoman (@AlaskaWx) July 10, 2021
The 29°F at the Salcha RAWS is slightly impressive for the time of year: this has only happened twice in July in the past 15 years (27°F in 2012 and 29°F in 2018) - although last July had 30°F on 3 nights.
The chart below shows the hourly temperature trace, with the minimum occurring at 3am this morning and 1am yesterday (AKST).
Chicken also saw a freeze this morning: 31°F. Early last summer I commented that Chicken hadn't seen a hard freeze (28°F or lower) in the height of summer for several years, but then it happened less than a month after my post last year: 27°F on July 3, 2020.
The Chalkyitsik RAWS (31°F yesterday and today) was also colder last July: 28°F on July 23. None of these cold spots are reliably frost-free at any time of the year.
[Update July 11: 27°F this morning at the Salcha RAWS site. To find colder than this in July, we have to go back to 2005, when 24°F occurred on July 21. Also, Chicken saw 28°F this morning.]