Climate Highlights and Other News

January 2017

Heavy Snow at Alyeska    

Two separate storms brought heavy snow to the Gridwood and Alyeska areas in mid-January. A total of 17" fell in the first storm January 13-14. After a short break, another storm brought 16" more, pushing the snow depth from 14" to 37" in just five days. The area is no stranger to heavy snow, averaging more than 200" a year, although the past few winters have had very low snowfall near sea-level.  

Seward Snow

Photo courtesy of Jim Pfeiffenberger (NPS)

Crippling Snow in Seward    

Very heavy snow fell in the Seward area January 20 and 21. An estimated 30" of snow piled up in town. Schools were closed due to heavy snow for the first time in recent memory and prompted city officials to issue a snow emergency to assist in snow removal. At Moose Pass, north of Seward reported of 32" snow fell from the same storm. 

 

 

Snowy January at Anchorage    

Anchorage International Airport received 31.7" (80.5cm) of snow in January, making this the snowiest month since December 2011. This is the second highest January snowfall at the Anchorage Airport, behind the 34.4" (87.4cm) that fell in January 2000. Climate observations have been made at Anchorage International since 1952. 

Utqiagvik (Barrow) Average January Temps

Utqiagvik (Barrow) Average January Temps

Utqiaġvik (Barrow) near record warm January    

The average temperature for January at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) of -0.3°F (-17.9°C) ties with 2016 as the second warmest January of record. The mildest January was in 1930, when the average temperature was a remarkable +5.6°F (-14.7°C). Climate observations have been made regularly at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) since October 1920. 

December 2016

Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Average Annual Temperature, 1921–2016

Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Average Annual Temperature, 1921–2016

Warmest Year of Record at Barrow    

The average temperature at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) for 2016 was 18.9°F (-7.3°C). This is more than 7°F (4°C) above normal, and by far the warmest calendar year of record. The previous warmest year was 1998, when the average temperature was 16.9°F (-8.4°C). Climate readings have been made almost continuously at Utqiaġvik (Barrow) since the autumn of 1920. 

Warmest Year of Record at Northway    

2016 was the warmest year of record at Northway. The average temperature of 28.0°F (-2.2°C) is 4.5°F above normal and easily exceeds the previous record of 26.8°F (-2.9°C) set in 1993. Climate observations have been made at Northway since 1943. 

Warmest Year of Record at Kodiak    

The average temperature at Kodiak for 2016 was 44.9°F (7.2°C). This is the highest annual temperature of record, breaking the previous record of 44.5°F (6.9°C) set in 1926 and again in 1983. 

Warmest Year of Record at Annette    

The average temperature for 2016 at Annette was 49.3°F (9.6°C). This edges out 2015 (49.0°F, 9.4°C), as the warmest year of record. Climate observations have been made at Annette since 1941. 

Warmest Year of Record at Juneau    

2016 was the warmest year of record at the Juneau Airport. The average temperature of 44.8°F (7.1°C) exceeded the previous record of 44.4°F (6.9°C) set in 2015. Climate observations have been made at the Juneau Airport since 1941. 

Warmest Year of Record at Yakutat    

The average  temperature at Yukutat in 2016 was a balmy 44.0°F (6.7°C), making this the warmest year of record. The previous record was 43.6°F (6.4°C) set in 1981. Climate observations have been made in Yakutat, with several breaks, since 1917.