Climate Highlights and Other News

July 2018

Record High Temperatures across Southern Alaska    

Strong high pressure at the surface and aloft brought record high temperatures to a wide area in southern Alaska from Bristol Bay to the Panhandle on July 3. Daily record high temperatures set at long-term climate stations included Juneau Airport at 83°F (28°C), King Salmon 82°F (28°C)F, Anchorage 80°F (27°C)F and Kodiak 77°F (25°C).

June 2018

June Snow in the Interior    

Snow fell across some higher elevations of the Interior on the morning of June 12. Falling snow was reported from above 1600' in the hills north of Fairbanks and a light accumulation was noted on Murrphy Dome above 2500' MSL. In Denali National Park 4" (10cm) accumluaed along the road above 3500' MSL. 

Kotzebue June Temperatures

Kotzebue June Temperatures

Near Record Warm June at Kotzebue    

Very early melt-out of sea ice in Kotzebue Sound, with nearly all the ice gone by the end of May helped boost June temperatures on coastal areas of Alaska along the southern Chukchi Sea. At Kotzebue, the average temperature for the month was  52.9°F (11.6°C). This is more than 7°F (4°C) warmer than normal and the second warmest June of record. Only June 2004 was warmer with an average temperature of 53.4°F (11.9°C). Climate observations have been made with only a few breaks at Kotzebue since 1936. 

Glennallen snow

Glennallen gets hit with over a half a foot of snow, June 10, 2018. Photo courtesy Eureka Lodge.

Unusual June Snow    

Light snow over the higher elevations of the Glenn Highway between Glennallen and Sutton is not unusual in early June, but overnight Jun 11-12 heavy snow fell above 3000' elevation. At the Eureka Roadhouse, 8 to 10 inches (20-25cm) accumulated. Accumalting snow was also reported over Thompson Pass on the Richardson Highway east of Valdez. 

November 2017 - April 2018 Alaska Climate Dispatch    

In this issue

  • Sea Ice: Winter 2017- 2018
  • Alaska's Changing Snow
  • 2018 Susitna River Ice Jam Flood Impacts on the Alaska Railroad
  • Climate Review Nov '17–April '18
  • News & Events 

May 2018

Kuskokwim River at Bethel break-up dates since the 1920s at Bethel and the linear trend. Data compiled from historical and recent records by the NWS Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center.

Kuskokwim River at Bethel break-up dates since the 1920s at Bethel. Data compiled from historical and recent records by the NWS Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center.

Early River Ice Break-up at Bethel    

Ice on the Kuskokwim River at Bethel went out on the evening of May 2. This ties for the tenth earliest break-up in the past 90 years and is in line with the trend for increasingly early break-ups.  

Record Warm Spring at St. Paul    

The average temperature at St. Paul March through May was 35.7°F (+2.1°C). This ties with 1979 and 1967 as the warmest spring of record. Climate observations have been made at St. Paul, with only a few breaks, since 1915.

Near Record Warm Spring at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature for March through May at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) was 8.9°F (-12.8°C), This is more than five degrees (F) above normal and makes this the third mildest spring in the past 98 years. The only milder springs were in 1998 and 2016. 

Ice pushed up on the Alaska Railroad tracks north of Talkeetna from Susitna River break-up flooding.

Ice pushed up on the Alaska Railroad tracks north of Talkeetna from Susitna River break-up flooding. Photo courtesy of Alaska Railroad Corp.

Break-up Flooding Shuts Down Alaska Railroad    

Break-up flooding on the Susitna River north of Talkeetna shut down the Alaska Railroad from May 12 to 16. Flood waters and large chunks of ice, in some places, piled more than seven feet (2 meters) high moved about 1000' of track near Curry. With an estimated price tag of more than a million dollars, Alaska Railroad Corporation crews were able to repair the damage just in time for the start of the enhanced summer rail schedule.