Wednesday, February 9, 2022

North Slope Cold

This week's story is the cold on the North Slope and Arctic coast, with temperatures below -50°F from the interior North Slope to the Sag River valley.  There was even a -51°F at Point Lay on the Chukchi Sea coast yesterday.

The cold at Deadhorse last night was remarkable: -55°F (rounded) at the high-quality CRN site just south of the airport, and -54°F at the ASOS.  Comparing this to the combined Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay history, it's the coldest since February 1998 (-55°F), and we have to go back to January 1989 to find colder (-62°F, which is the all-time record).

The Deadhorse CRN joins the Tok 70SE, Selawik 28E, and Ruby 44ESE CRN sites in the -50°F club this winter, and these are also the only CRN sites that have recorded -55°F at any time in their brief operational history.

As for wind chill, it has been brutal, with breezes persisting even during the cold.  And not surprisingly, our old friend Howard Pass had another episode of ridiculous wind chill, reaching -93°F on Monday at noon (-43°F temperature with a 52 mph sustained wind) and then -92°F yesterday at noon (-40°F and 63 mph).

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