Climate Highlights and Other News

November 2017

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)

Another Mild October at Utqiaġvik (Barrow)

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. 

Record High Temperature at Anchorage    

Record high temperatures were set on October 26 and 27 at the Anchorage International Airport. The high of 51°F (11°C) on October 26 broke the previous record of 47°F (8°C) set in 2003. The following day the high of 50°F (10°C) broke the previous record of 47°F (8°C) set in 2004. Climate observations have been made at the Anchorage International Airport since 1953. 

Damaging Winds in the Anchorage Area    

The weakening remnants of Typhoon Lan brought damaging winds to parts of Anchorage on October 26. Especially hard hit were the hillside and south Anchorage, where there was considerable property damage, and about 3000 people were without power at some time during the storm. Highest reported wind gusts included 85 mph at Glen Alps on the hillside and 87 mph near Potters March in south Anchorage. 

Heavy Snow in the Susitna Valley    

A moist storm spawned by the remnants of Typhoon Lan brought heavy snow to parts of the middle and upper Susitna Valley on October 24 and 25. Snowfall accumulations of 8 to 10 inches were reported in the Skwetna and Talkeetna areas before the snow changed to rain. Along the Parks Highway from near Hurricane Gulch to Broad Pass, the Alaska Department of Transportation reported up to 40" of new snow, causing major delays on the main road connection between Anchorage and Fairbanks.   

Flooding Rains in the Juneau Area

Flooding Rains in the Juneau Area

Flooding Rains in the Juneau Area    

Illiamna Snow

Illiamna woke up to 10" of snow on Oct 23! DOT&PF crews plowed roads and runways. Photo courtesy of Alaska DOT&PF.

Heavy Snow at Iliamna    

Eight to ten inches of snow fell at Iliamna on October 23. While long term snowfall records are not available from Iliamna, this is an unusally large snowfall for this early in the season. 

Record October Precipitation at Fairbanks    

Fairbanks was drenched with summer-like rainfall from late on October 9 into the evening of October 10. Unlike summer, the precipitation started as snow before changing to sustained moderate rain. The Fairbanks Airport recorded a 24 hour total of 1.54" (39.1mm) of rain and melted snow. This far exceeds the previous October 24-hour record of 1.17" set October 29, 1946 and again October 10-11, 1986. Not only is this an October record, but it's also the second greatest 24 hour precipitation any time between early September and early June (non-summer season).