Climate Highlights and Other News

March 2017

Near Record Warm Late Winter at Utqiagvik (Barrow)    

The average temperature at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) January through March was -4.6°F (-20.3°C). This is the second warmest late winter season of record at Utqiaġvik, exceeded only by the late winter 2016, when the average temperature was -3.9°F (-19.9°C). 

Near Record Heavy Snow in Annette    

Annette is one of the least snowy places in Alaska, averaging less than 35" (89cm) accumulation per year. That made this March especially notable, as 30.2" (77cm), 87% of the normal annual total piled up, all in the first three weeks of the month. This is the second highest March snowfall of record at Annette, exceeded only by the 46.9" (117cm) in March 1971. 

Near Record Cold March at Fairbanks    

The average temperature at Fairbanks in March was -3.0F (-19.4C). This is more than 14 degrees below normal and the third coldest March in 110 years of observations. The only colder Marches were in 1959 and 2007. The temperature rose above freezing only one day during the month, tying with 2007 for the lowest number of above freezing days in March. 

Heavy Snowfall at Juneau    

Snowfall during the winter at Juneau was unusually low, but March went a ways toward catching up the Capital City to normal. More than 32" (81cm) of snow fell at the Juneau Airport during the month, including 20.8" (53cm) accumulation between March 12 and 14. This is the snowiest three day period during March in Juneau since 1971. 

Heavy Late Season Snowfall in Anchorage    

Anchorage was hit with a major late season snowstorm on March 28-29. The Airport recorded 8.8" (22.4cm) of snow from the evening of March 28 through the afternoon of March 29. This is the fourth highest 24 hours snowfall total of record so late in the season. Other parts of urban Anchorage reported up to a foot accumulation, and schools were closed on March 29. 

Record Low Temperature at Ketchikan    

Clear skies, light winds and a significant snow cover allowed the temperature to fall to 7°F (-14°C) on March 10. This was not only a record low temperature for the date (previous record 9°F (-13°C) set in 2003, but is also the lowest temperature so late in the season. Climate observations have been made at Ketchikan, with a few breaks, since 1910. 

February 2017

Record High Temperature at Northway    

The high temperature at Northway on February 15 was 27°F (-3°C). This was a new record high for the date, breaking the previous record of 25°F (-4°C) set in 1944. Climate obsevrations have been made at Northway since late 1942.  

NWS map of Southcentral storm.

NWS map of Southcentral storm.

Valentine's Day Storm Closes Schools    

The strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska brought freezing rain to much of Southcental, and schools were closed in the Mat-Su Borough due to icy roads. 

Heavy Snow in Southeast Alaska    

February 27 and 28 brought heavy snow to parts of the Panhandle. On Chichagof Island, Pelican piled up 18” of snow, and Hoonah over 8”. At Petersburg, a foot of snow accumulated, while the Ketchikan area received 4 to 9” accumulation. 

 

 

Record Low Temperature at Cold Bay    

The low temperature at Cold Bay on February 20 was -6°F (-21°C). This broke the previous record of +3°F (-16°C) set in 1974 and 1982, and is also the lowest tempertaure during February at Cold Bay since 1947, when the temperature dropped to -9°F (-23°C).