Thursday, August 17, 2023

Summer Ends

To cap off the very unusual late summer spell of thundery weather in the interior, another round of strong thunderstorms passed through the Fairbanks area yesterday afternoon.  No severe thunderstorm warnings were issued this time, but the storms packed plenty of lightning, briefly heavy rain, and probably some hail in spots.  Here's a radar snapshot from 3:30pm with the storm core near Goldstream Road (click to enlarge, "FAI" marks the airport).

The ALDN notched another 2000 or so lightning strikes for the day, taking the seasonal total to 114,000 - not far below the seasonal normal.  What a turn-around in the past three weeks.

A much cooler air mass is now in place, with the temperature struggling to reach 60°F in Fairbanks today; it's an early-autumn feel.  Given the date on the calendar and the seasonably cool forecast for the next week, there's little chance of adding significantly to the lightning total after this point; we might say that yesterday's spectacle marked the end of summer.

Here are a couple of simple radar animations of yesterday's event: the second picks up where the first one ends.  An impressive system for any time of year, but quite remarkable for August 16th.


  1. Not weather, but where are our Fall's yellow leaves? There's some parasitic browning happening all over, but it seems late for Yellow-up in Fairbanks.

    1. It sure does seem late, that's very interesting. Lack of cool nights?

    2. Birch Leaf Miner's about the only color change happening: