Climate Highlights and Other News

April 2017

Near Record Warm April at Kotzebue    

The average temperature at Kotzebue in April 2017 was 24.3°F (-4.3°C). This is 11°F above normal and the third warmest April of record. The only warmer Aprils were in 2004 and 2016. 

March 2017

Record Low Temperature at Denali National Park    

The low temperature on March 18 at Denali National Park Headquarters was -30°F (-34°C). This is the lowest temperature of record for that date, breaking the previous record of -26°F (-32°C) set in 2009. Climate observations have been made at Park Headquarters since the 1920s. 

Second Driest Late Winter at Kodiak    

Kodiak received only 6.24" (158mm) of precipitation January through March. This is only 31% of normal and makes this second driest late winter of record: only 1937 was drier. 

Driest March of Record at Cold Bay    

Cold Bay received only 0.04" of precipitation in March. This is only 1% of normal March precipitation and is the lowest total for any March of record. This is also the second driest of any calendar month. Only April 1948, with 0.02" of precipitation, was drier. 

Near Record Cold March at Sitka    

The average temperature at the Sitka Airport in March was 33.5°F (0.8°C), making this the coldest March in 15 years and the fourth coldest of record. Climate observations have been made at the Sitka Airport since the mid 1940s. 

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.