Thursday, October 5, 2023

Signs of Freeze-Up

A dry and chilly north wind has kept wet bulb temperatures at or below freezing today across much of western and northern Alaska, and that means fresh water ice formation is likely beginning on many water bodies.  One of the first places where it's easy to spot from afar is the Koyuk River where it empties into Norton Bay.  Here's this afternoon's webcam view courtesy of the FAA:

The ice collected on both sides of the river over the course of the day today; here's a simple animation.

Looking back at this blog's archives, I noted the ice formation at Koyuk on the following dates in previous years:

October 24, 2013

October 9-11, 2014

October 18-20, 2017

October 14, 2019

October 14, 2022

In other news, it was 0°F at Anaktuvuk Pass this morning, and nearly as cold at some of the interior RAWS sites: +1°F at Norutak Lake and +2°F at the Beaver RAWS in the Yukon Flats.

And yesterday the rarely-operational Galbraith Lake thermometer reported -8°F on the north side of the Brooks Range.  This appears to have been the first sub-zero temperature of the season observed in Alaska.

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