Monday, March 6, 2017

February Summary...

Here's the ever popular NWS summary for February:

February 2017 was warm and very snowy with 23.3 inches of snow falling at the Fairbanks airport. The 23.3 inches of snow that fell was 15.2 inches above the normal snowfall of 8.1 inches and ranked as the 6th snowiest February of 106 years of record. Season to date snowfall now totals 78.4 inches as of the 1st of March and is 22.1 inches above the normal season to date snowfall of 56.3 inches. Only 9 other winter seasons have had more snow through the end of February. Snow depth at the Fairbanks airport peaked at 34 inches on the 26th before settling to 32 inches. This is the greatest snow depth at Fairbanks since April of 1993.

The average temperature was 0.7 degrees which was 2.0 degrees above the normal average temperature of 1.3 degrees below and ranked as the 50th warmest of 109 years of record. The warmest temperature during the month of February was 35 degrees above on the 14th and the lowest temperature was 41 below which occurred on the 12th. 

Looking forward to March the temperature climbs sharply as the sun angle and length of day increases. The average daily maximum temperature increases from 18 degrees above on the 1st to 34 degrees on the 31st. The average daily minimum temperature increases from 9 below on the 1st to 8 above on the 31st.

March is on average the driest month in Fairbanks. Normal precipitation is 0.25 inches while normal snowfall is 4.9 inches. In some years the snow pack begins to melt out by late March.

Possible sunshine increases by nearly 7 minutes per day during March,  from 10 hours and 11 minutes on the 1st to 13 hours and 33 minutes on the 31st.

Here's the temperature chart for the winter so far:

What's interesting, to me at least, is the almost cyclical temperature variability this winter. It seems like every ten days to two weeks there's a major shift from warm to cold and then back again. And every warm spell from Decembers on, we got a pretty decent dump of snow. Not a big weather guru, but it seems we haven't had a weather pattern like this since 1990-91 when we set the all time record for snowfall at over 148 in (that's almost four meters to the French).

Another sun dog screen shot from the UAF/GI climate site. If it looks cold, it's cause it is. Been down to thirty below most nights this past week. Where's spring when ya need it!

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