Climate Highlights and Other News

January 2018

Record Warm November through January at McGrath    

The average temperature at McGrath during the November through January early winter season was +9.0°F (-12.8°C). This is 10.6°F (5.9°C) above normal and is the warmest early winter season of record. The previous warmest was in 2000-01, when the average temperature was 8.8°F (-12.9°C).

Warmest November to January of Record at Kotzebue    

The average temperature at Kotzebue for the November through January early winter season was 12.3°F (-10.9°C). This is the warmest early winter season of record at Kotzebue. The previous record was 11.9°F (-11.2°C) set in 2003. Although climate observations have been made at Kotzebue since the late 1920s, the six warmest early winters at Kotzebue have all occurred since 2001. 

Warmest November to January of Record at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature for the November through January early winter season at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) was +6.1°F (-14.4°C). During this time 92% of days were warmer than the 1981-2010 normal, and this is easily the warmest early winter of record. The previous warmest November through January was just the year before, with an average temperature of +4.3°F (-15.4°C). Climate observations have been made at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) since the fall of 1920. 

December 2017

Record High Temperatures at Sitka    

Record high temperatures were set at the Sitka Airport on December 6 and 7, with highs of 56°F (13°C) and 58°F (14°C), respectively. The 58°F (14°C) on December 7 was the third highest temperature of record for the month of December, the only higher temperatures being 65°F (18°C) on December 12, 1944 and 59°F (15°C) on December 19, 1969. 

Coastal Flooding at Kwigillingok    

The same strong storm that brought damaging winds to parts of Southwest Alaska also produced coastal flooding at Kwigillingok December 19 to 21. Some homes had foundations inundated and boardwalks around the parts of the community were unusable. Residents were unable to access boats. 

Damaging Winds in Port Heiden    

A strong storm on December 21 brought damaging winds to Port Heiden as a number of properties in the community suffered damage, including homes and the landfill. Peak winds of 84 mph reported at the Port Heiden Airport and a home weather station measured a gust to 103 mph. 

Heavy Snow in Glennallen Area    

Heavy snow fell in the Cooper River Basin on December 5 and 6. In some areas, the precipitation fell as rain for a brief period. With temperatures near freezing, the snow bent trees onto power lines, knocking out power to some places for hours. Snowfall reports included 12.0" at Glennallen by the cooperative observer, while 14" fell at Eureka on the Glenn Highway.

2017: Second Warmest Year at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

2017 was the second warmest year of record at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) with an average temperature of 18.3°F (-7.6°C). This is 12.1°F (6.7°C) warmer than normal and is much warmer than any other year of record except for 2016, when the average temperature was 18.9°F (-7.3°C). Climate observations have been made at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) since autumn 1920.


Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy



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