After what seemed like a month of clear, cold weather, the chinook rolled through, brought in some clouds, and warmed things up above zero. But what was unusual for a chinook, which usually brings warm, dry weather, it dumped 2-3 inches of snow. So I wound up firing up the tractor to plow the road and driveway, then hop on the ski doo to groom the dog trail. As luck would have it, the clouds started to clear off just when leaving and the temps quickly dropped to nearly twenty below (about minus thirty to the French). But I did remember to grab the camera, so I got a few shots while freezing my butt off down in the valley.
"Southerly flow aloft will push a series of weather systems north over Northern Alaska through the weekend. This will bring temperatures to well above normal through Thu along with Chinook wind conditions in the SE Interior of Alaska. This will also bring above normal temperatures and periods of light snow to the remainder of northern Alaska through the weekend." Temperatures are expected to rise today to the single digits above zero in the valley and teens to low twenties in the hills.
According to the NWS, a chinook occurs when strong south winds over the Alaska Range block moisture to areas north of the mountains while warming up the air as it descends on the leeward side of the range due to adiabatic heating. While it may not seem like temps. in the single digits are warm, just a few days ago it was forty below and it hadn't been above zero for about a week.
Taking the doggies out for a run is a lot more pleasant now that it's above zero.
The forecast for extreme cold last week (Sun Dog...1/11/17) didn't happen. Instead we got another half a foot of snow. But then came yesterdays forecast...
National Weather Service... Arctic cold to settle into the interior...
"Temperatures will fall to around 40 below for much of the interior over the next 24 hours. Some areas outside Fairbanks may see 55 below before the end of the week.
As the snow ends and skies clear a pool of cold air over the high Canadian Arctic will move southwest into the eastern interior Tuesday and settle in across the interior for the remainder of
the week. Low temperatures in the valleys will fall to 40 to 50 below with the coldest temperatures expected in the upper Yukon Flats may fall to around 55 below. Valley locations will not see much change as highs will be in the 30s to around 40 below."
And this time they were right...
National Weather Service....Extreme Cold Over Interior Alaska...
"Temperatures in the 40s and 50s below have been recorded this morning across Interior Alaska. Areas of dense ice fog have formed in valley locations as well. Hillsides are in the 30s below with hill tops in the 20s below.
These cold temperatures will continue through Thursday night in most areas from Fairbanks west. Clouds will spread to the area east of Fairbanks tonight and Thursday causing a slight moderation of temperatures east of Fairbanks."
Some low temperatures in the Interior this morning...
Fairbanks Airport...........51 below.
Fort Wainwright.............49 below.
Eielson AFB...................53 below.
Little Chena R at 12mi...52 below.
Chena R at 39mi.............53 below.
So we really can't complain about the temp's at our place.
But at least it makes for clear sunny weather...
And it's a great time to split fire wood. The logs almost explode when you whack'em with an axe at 40 below.
Saw this on the Gee Wiz website just before noon today:
(Courtesy of http://climate.gi.alaska.edu)
The sun dog is formed similar to a rainbow, except it's snow or ice crystals, not water droplets, that refract the light.
Thought this'd be a great day to get some pictures on a dog run and thanks to Andy, had the camera with me. But as luck would have it, the clouds rolled in and it was overcast by the time I got out with the dogs.
Supposed to get some more snow this weekend, then be real cold, maybe -40 or lower (that's -40 to the French, too). Looks like we might have a serious Alaskan winter this year.
The cold start to December began in late November with temperatures not rising above zero from the 28th of November and continuing until the 15th of December. The coldest temperature recorded at Fairbanks in December was 36 below on the 4th. The warmest temperature occurred on the last day of month when the temperature reached 35 degrees above zero.
There was 32.9 inches of snow that fell in December which ranked as the 4th snowiest December of 102 years of Record. A very powerful storm beginning on the 29th and continued through the 31st. Officially, 10.4 inches of snow fell on the 29th, while the storm total snowfall in the Fairbanks area ranged from 10 to 15 inches. The snow was still falling when strong winds moved into the area creating significant blowing snow and drifts over open areas on the evening of the 30th and morning of the 31st. West winds increased to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph. The peak wind gust at the Fairbanks Airport was 52 mph. The storm caused scattered power outages, knocked down trees and signs as well as made travel very difficult. Highway summits north of Fairbanks were closed due to severe drifting.
Looking forward to January, the average maximum 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 minimum temperature drops from 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 from 7 below on the 1st and bottoms out at 8.7 below on the 16th and then climbs back to 6 below on the 31st for a average of 8 below for the month. Temperatures in January have ranged from 52 above in 2009 to 66 below in 1934.
The average snowfall in January is 10.3 inches. However in January of 1993, 40.2 inches of snow fell during the month. Possible sunshine increases in January from 4 hours and 3 minutes on the 1st to 6 hours and 54 minutes by the 31st.
The outlook for Fairbanks for January from the Climate Prediction Center calls for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.