Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hooking 'em up again...

The cold spell that started just before Christmas ended rather quickly when a chinook blew into the valley (http://ak-wx.blogspot.com/2016/01/chinook-winds.html). It soon got above freezing and broke high temperature records all over northern Alaska. It was almost too warm to run dogs, but did manage to get them out a few times during the warm spell. Now that it's cooled off again, we're finally back to a regular training schedule.
Taking a break on the way out.

Heading up the hill on the way home.

So here's the weather bureau's summary for the month:

Monthly weather summary for December for Fairbanks, Alaska...

December 2015 was another tranquil month  with very little snowfall and no extreme cold temperatures.
The average maximum temperature was 6.5 degrees above which was 1.7 degrees above the normal maximum temperature of 4.8 degrees and ranks as the 28th warmest of 111 years of record. The average minimum temperature was 10.8 below which was 2.1 degrees above the normal minimum temperature of 12.9 degrees below and ranks as the 31st warmest of 112 years of record. The mean temperature was 2.2 below which was 1.9 degrees above the normal mean temperature of 4.1 degrees below and ranks as the 27th warmest of 111 years of record.
The highest temperature was 45 degrees which occurred on the 30th. The temperature soared to break a daily high temperature record as a result of strong chinook winds blowing over the Alaska range. This temperature shattered the previous record of 35 degrees set in 1982. The average temperature departures from normal were 36 and 32 degrees on the 30th and 31st and helped push the monthly average above normal where most of the month of December hovered at or slightly below average.
The coldest temperature was 29 below, which occurred on the 25th, and is the coldest temperature of the season to date.
December 2015 was exceptionally dry with only 1.1 inches of snow falling, which ranks as the 98th snowiest of 101 year of record. Normal snowfall for December is 12.1 inches. The snowfall melted down to a paltry 0.07 inches which ranks as the 5th driest of 101 years of record. The normal precipitation for December is 0.64 inches.
Looking forward to January...the average high temperature drops from 2 above on the 1st to zero by the 12th and then climbs back to 3 above by the 31st. The average low temperature drops form 16 below on the 1st to 18 below on the 14th and then climbs back to 16 below again by the 31st. The average temperature continues to drop and bottoms out at around 8 below which is the lowest monthly average temperature for Fairbanks. Temperatures in January have ranged form 52 above in 2009 to 66 below in 1934.
While average snowfall in January is 10.3 inches, as much as 40.2 inches of snow fell in 1993. Possible sunshine increases dramatically during the month with 4 hours and 1 minute on the 1st increasing by an average of 6 minutes per day to 6 hours and 49 minutes by the 31st.
The outlook from the climate prediction center calls for above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The sun just barely clears the ridge top in early January.

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