Climate Highlights and Other News

February 2018

Record Warm February at St. Paul    

The average temperature at St. Paul in February was 34.8°F (+1.6°C). This is 10.0°F (+5.6°C) warmer than normal and the warmest February in a century at St. Paul. The previous record warm February was in 1989, when the monthly average was 34.1°F (+1.2°C). Climate observations have been made at St. Paul, with only a few breaks, since 1916. 

Record Warm Winter at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)

Record Warm Winter at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)

Record Warm Winter at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) for the December through February mid-winter period was +1.8°F (-16.8°C), a stunning 13.5°F (7.5°C) above normal and easily the warmest mid-winter of record. The previous warmest winter was 2016-17.with a three month average of -2.1°F (-18.9°C). Seven of the eight warmest winters in the past 97 years have been since 2000. 

January 2018

Heavy Snow in the Glennallen Area    

The Glennallen area is not an especially snowy region, but January 13-15 a total of 18.1" (46cm) fell at the NWS cooperative station. This is among the highest three total snowfalls of record in the area and the greatest three-day total since November 1-3, 1999.

Powder Snow at Anchorage    

Snowfalls of six inches or more are not unusual during the winter in Anchorage: in the past decade, nearly two dozen days had that much snow. However, the 6.8" of snow that fell on January 23 was unusual because it melted down to only 0.18" of water, having a snow to liquid ratio of 38 to 1, a far cry from the often used (but often inappropriate) 10 to 1 rule of thumb. This ratio is among the highest of record for big snowfalls in Anchorage, effectively equaling the ratio of 7.8" of snow that melted down to 0.20" water on February 28, 2009. 

January Record High Temperature at Sitka    

The temperature at the Sitka Airport topped out at 63°F (17°C) on January 14. This is the highest temperature of record in the month of January at the Sitka Airport. The previous record was 60°F (16°C) set on New Year's Day, 1946. This is also the highest temperature of record for any date between December 15 and April 1. Climate observations have been made at the Sitka Airport since 1944. 

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)

Warmest November to January of Record at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)

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.