Climate Highlights and Other News

November 2017

Near Record Warm November at St. Paul    

The average temperature at St. Paul in November of 39.4°F (4.1°C) was more the six degrees above normal and made this the second warmest November on record at the Pribilof Island community. The only warmer November was back in 1926, when the monthly average was 39.6°F (4.2°C). 

Warmest November of Record at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) in November was 17.2°F (-8.2°C) was 16.5°F (9.2°C) above the 1981-2010 and easily the warmest November in the past 98 years. The previous warmest November occurred in 1950, when the average temperature was 15.3F (-9.3°C). Seven of the ten warmest Novembers at Utqiaġvik have occurred since 1997. 

Coastal Flooding in Northwest Alaska    

A moderately strong storm moved across the Chukchi Sea November 11 and 12. Because of near-record low ice cover over the Chukchi for so late in the autumn, the long fetch of winds over the open water brought coastal flooding and severe erosion to several communities. Hardest hit were the northern Seward Peninsula communities of Shishmaref, were the road to the landfill suffered serious erosion, and at Deering, where a home was evacuated and the airstrip cut off for about half a day. Minor flooding also occurred at Kotzebue, where some parking areas were inundated. 

Heavy Snow around Lake Iliamna    

Heavy snow fell overnight and during the morning of November 19 around Lake Iliamna. At the Iliamna airport, a stunning 22" (56cm) was reported by FAA Flight Service. Other reports from around the area were closer to a foot (30cm) of new snow. 

Strong Storm Buffets the Aleutians    

A strong, slow-moving storm brought a long period of high winds to the central and eastern Aleutians on November 26. Peak winds were around 90 mph at Adak, Atka, and Dutch Harbor, which are high but not terribly extreme by Aleutian standards. More notable was the long duration of high winds. At Atka, the average sustained wind speed between midnight and noon on the 26th was over 50mph, with winds gusting past hurricane force during that time. 

Record High Temperatures at Kodiak    

The temperature at Kodiak on November 1 soared to 57°F (14°C), easily breaking the previous record high for the date of 52F (11°C) set in 2003. Two days later, on November 3 the temperature again topped out at 57°F (14°C), breaking the previous record of 54°F (12°C) set in 1936. Both of these readings are the second highest temperature of record at Kodiak for November (since 1930). The only milder November day was in 2013, when the high temperature on the 14th was balmy 59°F (15°C).

Heavy Snow in Southeast Alaska    

Heavy snow fell over parts of Southeast Alaska on November 17. The highest reported amounts near sea level included 15.2" (38.6cm) at Hyder and 14.0" (35.6cm) at Yakutat. In the Juneau area, the Airport reported 10.2" (25.9cm) of snow, with 11.0" (27.9cm) in the Mendenhall Valley but only 6" (15.2cm) in downtown Juneau. Much of the outer coast and southern Southeast saw mostly rain from the storm. 

October 2017

Another Mild October at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature in October at Utqiaġvik was 24.1°F (-4.4°C). This is 6.9°F warmer than the 1981-2010 normal and is the eighth warmest October in the past 98 years. Because of the retreat of autumn sea ice, seven of the top ten warmest Octobers have occurred since 2003. 

Record Cold at Cold Bay    

Cold Bay set daily low temperature records on October 23 and 24, with lows of 20°F (-7°C) and 19°F (-7°C) respectively. More significantly, the low of 19°F (-7°C) on October 24 is the lowest temperature so early in the season. The previous earliest date with a temperature in the teens was October 25, 1966. Climate observations are available from Cold Bay since 1950. 

Record High Temperature at Northway    

The high temperature at Northway on October 27 was 41°F (5°C). This is a new record high for the date, exceeding the previous record of 37°F (3°C) set in 2002. Climate observations have been made at Northway since autumn 1942. 

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy

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