Tuesday, January 3, 2017

December Weather Summary...

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.

(http://forecast.weather.gov/product.phpsite=NWS&issuedby=afg&product=pns&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1)



The big December storm made for a slow dog run, but now there's a lot smoother trail with nearly a foot of fresh snow.

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