Thursday, December 1, 2022

New Alaska Climate Newsletter

Some readers will already be aware, but for those who aren't: Rick Thoman has started a Substack newsletter/blog focused on Alaska and Arctic climate:

There's a lot to talk about these days in Arctic weather and climate, and Rick (who started the Deep Cold blog) is a preeminent expert, so be sure to sign up for the subscription feature.

Thermometers have registered a sharp drop in the past few days for much of Alaska, with the first -40° showing up on Monday evening at Arctic Village.  The temperature subsequently dropped to -45°F, but the cold snap didn't last long.

Chicken also saw -40° this week, which is right on schedule for the time of year.  In the Fairbanks area, UAF's Smith Lake site reached -30°F.

On the other side of the pendulum, the North Slope has been extremely warm again, with Utqiavik reaching +29°F yesterday - very close to record warmth for the time of year.

The briefly sharp cold spell for interior areas has finally brought freeze-up to Dawson over in the Yukon Territory, judging from the webcam.  Here's a video showing today's scene, courtesy of

The Tanana River at Nenana appears to still have open water, but not much:


  1. Hello, I've been following your blog for about two months. I was wondering if you could focus more discussion and analysis on cloud cover in Alaska, and the high and low pressure systems. I have a strong interest in stargazing and aurora viewing and would like to know more about how our cloud and pressure patterns work in Alaska.

    1. Hi, thanks for following. I'll see what I can do. Unfortunately cloud is tricky to assess, especially in winter, because the automated sky cover observations (airport locations) are very inadequate. But it should be possible to make some comments using other data.