Forty seven years ago on this date the coldest temperature was recorded in Alaska. Temperature reach down to 80 below zero. Was quite an frosty morning in the maintenance camp of Jim’s Camp which was 1000 feet below and .9 miles Prospect Creek from which the cold dense air pour down from. There is a bit of implication as to that reading of -79 degrees was not official as it was on an VP2 which both NWS and Davis said it could not happen as it was out of specs. Unlike the new Davis VP2 with sensor that shut off at -40 and ISS shuts down at -40. Of which I have seen and can attest to. Even after sun up the unit did not send data at -40 so it was not the battery. the old analog units could get down to lower temps. Here is the kicker the ASOS station at Prospect Creek did not send any data during that time period. In fact it was for 3 days with no data from that station (PAPR). So how did the NWS really get what is called the official temperature of -80. Infra red pix from satellite data showed temps in the vicinity of -70-to -74. But that is surface temps and not at 5-6 foot above it. Guess we will have to let other come away with there opinion. Myself I say it happen as the old Davis unit said it did. This same cold moved south and set record cold in the lower 48. Several area had -40 temps after it moved south.
Now to this morning in SW Alaska folks got the shakes around 0030 as an 7.9 Quake south of the trench released it energy . The quake was an slip/strike quake instead of an mega thrust type that could have made things get a bit exciting along the coast. An sea buoy close to the area did measure an displacement wave of 32 feet but at Kodiak they measured only an 14 inch wave from the quake. Up here in the interior nothing was felt but Anchorage got shaken up. Kodiak measured approx. 90 sec of shaking. With that long of a period of shake you head for the high ground and forget about catching fish that get stranded.
Weather wise here we been have off and on snow showers. Mostly during the evening hours even tho yesterday Fairbanks was getting good snowfall while we were there. Roads are still glazed ice from the rain a week ago. Need an chinook to melted it off. Stratus layer is keeping us warmer then the central Interior region where night time temps are still falling below the -40 mark.
Station Data here
Temp minus 17 F
DWPT minus 22 F
Station pressure 30.24 in/hg
Soil Temp 31 F
Soil Moisture 200
stay warm and healthy, Keep an log on the fire.
For your interest:
Bitter cold records broken in Alaska – all time coldest record nearly broken, but Murphy’s Law intervenes
Well we finally are getting into our winter mode here. For a bit thought it was bypassing us. Climate folks said fall was going to be milder and it was till this cold air moved out of Siberia. While folks in lower 48 complained about the chill they had, to most of us here who work and play in those temperature it was just normal for us. January so far been an mix bag of weather, for the interior. Rain (not an norm), snow and wind. Speaking of wind the folks out on Seward Pennsulia at the present time are under wind chill advisory for a wind chill of 56 below zero.
As of Sunday morning the cold air mass had move east to the ALCAN border. In it passing it drop temps here to -27 and also brought 4 inches of snow in it passing. This made for interesting driving conditions as just prior to it we had rain and freezing rain in the area. Been busy clearing snow and piling it up on several snow dumps I have so melt water goes into the Tundra rather then make an mess in the dooryard.
Morning lows ranged from a quite chilly -42 at Huslia to 40 at Metlakatla. Save St lawrence island with +6 to +8 the entire west coast to Bristol bay the interior and North slope were well belowzero with 8 sites below -30 and two more sites below -40. Wind chills were as cold as -56 at Deadhorse -57 at Nuiqsut and -59 at Shungnak. Galena checked in with a wind chill of -51 and many other sites werein excess of -40. Fairbanks area was in the -30 and Bettles at -37. On the other end Klawok yesterday high was 43 degrees. That is par for SEAK.
The outlook for the week is cold and more cold with possible warm up next week end. Night time temps west of Nenana will be in the -40 degree range as clear skies in that area will allow for heat lost at night. East of Nenana will see layer of stratus clouds keeping temperatures in between -20 to -30. Also there is possible snow shower activity so this will also keep temps up.
Going be interesting to see just how far east this cold mass will go before it disapiates. Looking at the jet stream and Satellite pictures out over the Pacific it is possible BC and Washington might see an drop in temps also. Surface freeze line is south of the Chain at the present looking at this morning aviation charts.
By the way the local Climate person Rich Thoman says we are behind our snow fall for the year except for Nome which so far has received 55 inches were there norm is around 21 inches. All other interior and coast station are running 21-29 inches behing in snowfall.
Well stay warm, stay well and keep the old home fires burning
Been an quite week here with the exception of an steady East to SE wind. Think the Yukon finally ran out of wind. Wind chills were in the -40 to -50 range. Winds were steady 20-25 knots gusting to 30. After the Tanana jet shut down winds came from the south thru Isbel pass and brought Chinook conditions. That same warm air shut down the ALCAN and Haines Cutoff due to snow, ice and blowing snow. The Portion of the ALCAN in Canada has been reopen as crews there remove the problem down by D-bay and Kluane. The Haines cutoff crew is still working on the road there to clear the problem of snow , icy conditions, overflow icing and black ice.
Closer to home an LP system develop over Fairbanks last night dumping rain and snow from Fairbanks north and east. Here we just got rain. Of course it made the roads become ice rinks. Hockey any one. Received .15 on an inch of rain and then temps started dropping. Last night at midnight it was 36 deg. and as the day progressed temps kept dropping. At the present it is 14 deg. F.
NWS has been warning about a cold air mass coming out of Siberia as HP develops over there and links up with HP here. This air mass has temps recorded between -55 and -80 F. You folks in the lower 48 thought it was cold there. HA. Anyways it is to move into the state by Thurs night and be in my area by Saturday night and Sunday Morning.
One village in Russia has recorded -88 F in that cold mass. Like Fairbanks it is close to the Artic circle and in an bowl so the cold keeps pouring in down the hills. They had set up an Digital Thermometer in the village square and at -80 F it died. Some folks there had the good ole analog units to keep the records for the cold they observed. As to how cold we will get remains to be seen, but -30 so far is the minium temp. This is the time of year here for this deep chill to come, 80 below @ jim creek in 1971. So it will be interesting.
Rivers in the area still have area of unfrozen water. With this cycle of cold,warm, then cold again I wouldn’t think of going out on them. Lakes are in good shape but I would leave the iron dog on the beach and walk out to where I want to ice fish . one guy has his pick up on bottom of Chena lake where it was driven out on the ice and broke thru.
Temperature 12.6 F
DWPT 10 F
Humidity 91 %
Barometer 29.37 in/hg
Soil Temp. 32 F
Soil Moisture 200 (frozen)
Stay warm and stay well
Keep an log on the fire and light in the window.
For those interested :
Looks like our normal wintery weather has decided to come home. Yesterday we saw an high of Minus 9 and the low was minus 19. In fact at 0200 we were at -15 then the old mercury decided to plummet. Bottom out at minus 26.7 and the high today was well it didn’t rise much. minus 22.3 at 1430 hours and is minus 25 at present as the sun drops below the horizon. The NWS issued an wind chill advisory as I am typing this. We are expected to see wind chills in the minus 40 to minus 50 degree range. The forecast model for us is way off again as per sec. it calling for high of -16 today with an low of -18 and they closed some of the remote weather balloon sites to save money. Never have been able to understand government run programs. Seem like they are more for the bean counters then to serve the people who pay there wages. According to news article they can do the same thing with Satellites. Yet 45 miles from Fairbanks they can’t even come close. In fact when I lived in Ketchikan the Canadian forecast where closer to what we had then what Juneau issued for forecasts.
High pressure has parked up over Nuvuk ( Point Barrow) with ridge extending down to Galena at the 500mb level and be moving west. A trough is digging into the Yukon Territory and allowing the colder temps to move into the eastern interior tonight. With clear skies the temps are expected to drop well below the normal for this time of year.
At the surface wind patterns from Tanana Valley Jet will keep the wind chill in the -40 range and also bring low temps to soe areas reaching down to the -40 or better mark. Old mecury thermometer at those temps is useless. It freezes at -35.
No precip is expected this week and around Friday evening an southernly flow is expected to kick in. This will be bringing Chinook winds down from Isabel Pass and warm the Valley area back up as the wind scours out the low lying areas.
Barometer 30.14 and rising
Soil Temp 32 F at 18 inches below surface.
Soil Moisture 200 (Yep it frozen)
My prediction is about -33 or so for tonight and as the old timers call it an 3dog night.
Stay warm and safe
Keep an log on the fire and light in the window.
Another week gone by and so far it been an warm New year with temps only dropping into single digits minus’s. Tuesday was our warmest hit the high of 37 deg. F. At 0800 that morning we were at 31 and temp kept climbing during daylight hours as down slope winds off the Alaska Range heated the atmosphere. At the present time am watching temperatures flucating up and down as the wind in Delta Junction is building again. Advisory here for 55 MPH winds across the flats. Had HP parked above us past couple days but it has slid off to the northwest as an trough moves in.
The big weather maker here again is out to the west as an 948mb low moves up the Bering Coast and head of the front is snow and mixed rain and snow. Behind the front rain as it moves north. Surface chart shows tight gradients and marine forecast calls for 50-55 kt winds and 25 foot sea in close to the islands. On the chart tonight they show area that had 35-40 ft seas. Northwest Alaska is under winter weather advisories which is related to the storm also.
Here closer to home we are expected to drop in temp and looking ahead on one of my favorite site. Navy oceanography was showing that we could get colder weather 120 hours out. Will have to keep close eye on the forecast as we get closer to that time period. Hope we start getting a bit colder. Both the Salcha and Tanana rivers are still open in places and that makes me an little leary to go poking around on them fishing. What may hold one today will collapse under you tomorrow. Also this week we got 1.75″ of snow bringing the total for the season to 42 inches. At the present we have only 10 ” laying. The snoweater took 6 inches during the last event.
Read to day were folks in good news Bay storm have filed for aide as they took heavy damage there to shed’s, boats, fish drying racks, and lot of homes have heavy roof damage from the wind. Also that high wind took the Ice out so they are not able to get to hunting , fishing, and trapping grounds. Yep it an different life out there in the bush. You just don’t drive down to the local Wally World.
Well folks that about is it for now, Stay safe, Stay warm and Stay dry. Wetness is the killer in cold temps.
Keep an log on the fire and light in the window.
One more year behind us like all the water under the bridge in life. 2017 was an bit different but one manages to adapt. from 51 below in January to 93 above in June. Yes it can get a bit warm here in summer without night temps to cool down the air. 24 hour daylight keeps thing warm.
The year in weather we saw -40 with the Davis before it stopped transmitting as the electronics in the ISS shut down. had to go to my old back up to get temps. During that cold snap we hit-51 as the cool down at sun rise has an trend to do. Mid June before the Solstice we hit 93 deg. that an 144 degree differential for those who keep track. Not many places see that kind of temperature swing.
The highest barometer reading was also in January @ 31.71 in/hg. and in February we hit the lowest reading of 28.65 in/hg. I have seen lower reading along the coast in SEAK but for the interior that my record low so far.
So much for the recap. Today has been kind oh an hoe hum day in between down slope winds. Yesterday we had gust up to 30 mph before things died down. No much loose snow left as the wind drifted the last snow fall away. Now it down to blowing ice shards around and it can get to be like an sand blaster as it moves those fine grains of ice across the surface.
Tuesday sounds like going to be another round of wind reading the forecast discussion of which I added an insert of it in the blog.
Central and Eastern Interior…Very strong Gap winds will be
developing in the Alaska Range with a strong Tanana Valley Jet
persisting. The Tanana Valley Jet is already bringing gusty winds
to the Flats south of Fairbanks from Delta Junction to Nenana.
Winds increasing in the Eastern Alaska Range late this evening and
in Central Alaska Range by Tuesday morning. Winds gusting to 80
mph are expected in the Alaska Range with gusts to 55 mph around
Delta Junction. The strong downslope winds will also produce
strong winds around the Robertson River and Tanacross with gusts
around 40 mph. Gusty northeast winds will develop along the Dalton
highway from Livengood to Coldfoot, and the Elliott Highway from
Livengood to the Minto Turnoff that will produce blowing and
drifting snow that may impact travel in those areas. With the
strong downslope in the Alaska Range, precipitation will be
limited from Fairbanks south with only a few flurries or a
sprinkle expected as the front moves through. As the front moves
north precipitation will develop with snowfall amounts of around 2
inches possible, mainly north of the Yukon River. Temperatures
warming with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens Tuesday and
An 1024 mb high has parked itself over Dawson, YT and will remain there for an few days with it temps will be mild till the 850 mb level drops in temps as the southly flow changes around. It is expected to drop below -10 later this week. If those of you who are interested in your forecast discussion it is available at your local NWS office. It cover the entire atmosphere in your area and goes in depth that your local weather does not.
Keep warm and safe and yes I chuckle a bit as I listen to all the hype on the news channels about the lower 48 cold. yep that is normal for us here during the winter.
Keep an log on the fire and light in the window.
Little something to read about life at minus 40
Here it is temperatures starting to drop down the ole thermometer. Hit 18 below last night and high got up to -6. Day was sort of an lazy day with grey sky and few lazy snowflakes falling but tonight we have broken over cast with moon showing time to time. At the moment we are sitting in between 2 1045mb highs with couple troughs stretching from the west coast over the interior into the Yukon. Te Yukon HP is dominating the eastern have of the state with White Pass expect with winds of 40 gusting to 55. Dropping the wind chill down around 30 below. Took on fuel many a day at Skagway with those temps and wind blowing across the car deck. Hard to keep stuff thawed with that chill on the overhead piping but we managed to prevent freeze ups and all with out heat tapes. They are an no no on ships.
The 1045 mb over Siberia is keeping the west coast cold but not like the interior. There the temps under marine influences are above zero and few places into the teens. That may change when that high slides east. Surface charts show some pretty tight gradients south of the Chain so there are some gale force winds blowing there.
On the NWS TV show they show Northway hitting 30 below to tonight and tomorrow night they are suppose to hit minus 40. By the way North way is on the same plateau that saw the coldest temps ever recorded in North America. Chilly night that was in Snag Creek, YK.
Today temps at 2330 hours : -6.1 F
Humidity 77 %
DWPT -11 F
Wind 1 mph gusting 4 from the ESE
Barometer 30.47 “/hg and showing falling trend.
Soil temperature @ 18 ” 32 Deg. F
Well folks that all for now
Stay safe stay warm and keep an log on the fire.
Well this past week has been mild for us here at the homestead as the Tanana jet kicks in the down slope winds. Temperatures been in the 20’s with breezes up to 20 KTS. But down in the hole as I call it with the inversion building in ( 1055mb ) Fairbanks was different story. Wife needed some supplies for her fat pill making so we drove to Fairbanks to get them. It was 21 above at the cabin. ten miles up the Rich it was at 11 deg and in an space of 1/2 mile it dropped to 11 below zero. as we drove by Eilsen it was 2 below and then it dropped to 8 below at North Pole. On into Fairbanks where once again it was down to 11 below. That is a bit of an drop in temp. Between Cleary summit and the airport there was an 45 deg difference. This inversion is common during the winter and allows for those cold temps seen here in late December and January. During the coldest days it not uncommon to see the barometer well over 31 inches of mercury. In fact few years back all but one airport closed to IFR rules and were on VFR rules only as an huge high settled in over Alaska before it moved south. Temperature were seen around the state in minus 60 to minus 70 below. here to day we hit -5 at 0730 and since then warmed up to 2 above. Fairbanks is showing -9.
Out on the coast another nasty storm came ashore with 85 mph winds damaging several villages. On Kuskokwim bay the village of Quinhagak reported winds reaching 85 mph (137 kph) Friday morning causing power outage for half an day . One resident reported cars sliding off the road and plywood flying around. Also one home that was partially constructed was ripped off its foundation. The village fuel pumps where also damage causing stove oil and gasoline to be ration. Over in Platinum several homes reported minor damage. The radio station from bethel was unable to reach Goodnews bay to check on damages there. Further north along the coast high winds , heavy snow and blowing snow was the order of the day.
Our present weather here in the Interior for the week is going to be ruled by high pressure (1030 mb) until it drifts ne over into the NWT and allows for low pressure to fill in as an new high over Siberia builds. That high will most likely bring cooler temps then what we been seeing.
Today weather @ 1400 hr
Temperature 1.9 F
Wind 0 from the east
Soil Temperature @ 18 inches 32 deg.
Sun to low to get solar reading.
Until next time
Stay warm and Healthy.
Keep log on the fire and candle in the window.
Here something to think about
Well here we are at the shortest day of the year. Picture was shot at high noon here to show the sun height as we see it here. 3 hours and 41 minutes in Fairbanks. Sun rise 1047 here and sunset was at 1444 today. Not much heat coming from that low angles. Solar panels on the Wx station struggle to charge up the super cap during the day. At least so far no -40 to shut down the Davis stations. Still shopping around to find an wireless station that will not quit at -40. Everything I have found is either wired or the transmitter quit at the above temps. back in the old analog days Davis VP2 measure temps down to -80 before the battery died up at Jim’s creek camp on the Dalton.
Anyway Monday saw an 945 mb low chewing it way up the Bering Sea producing 70 kt plus winds. That same storm is now headed toward Wrangel Island and NW away from Alaska but behind it there was coastal erosion, blizzard condx all along the SW and Western Coast of Alaska. Most of the week been winter storm warning for Northern Alaska and the north slope. On the Dalton heavy snow conditions ended up having 2 semi’s stuck with highway crews having to dig them out. Highway department close the road till conditions improved.
The Kodiak low was at work producing storms to keep the south coast wet and some areas freezing rain. While here in the shadow of the Alaskan range we saw mostly flurries. Fairbanks and north saw snow up to 12 inches in places. Last storm snow was around us but we only got 2.5 inches compared to what was falling North and south of us.
Looks like we are going to have an dry and sunny week end from the forecast.
Strong high pressure over the Copper River Basin and southern
Yukon Territory will build north over the NE Interior and Beaufort
Sea Fri. This is now causing strong southerly gap winds through
Alaska Range passes that will continue into Sat. This is also
causing south winds through Brooks Range passes that will continue
through Sat. This will This will cause a moderately strong Tanana
Valley Jet to develop Fri and continue through the weekend, and
can expect NE winds to 20 kt over the Elliot Highway to develop
Fri as well.
So far no wind advisory here in the Harding Lake area. Most generally they start around the Birch lake area about 8 miles south of here.
Was looking to get out and do some Ice fishing but due to the mild temps we been having it not safe to even try. Salcha river has open leads on it were normally it frozen over this time of year. In fact I heard an air boat running up it the other day from the cabin.
Guess this all for now
Stay well and keep an log on the fire and light in the window
Well after hitting from 40 to as high as 45 deg last few days during the Chinooks we are starting to drop again in temps but not below the zero mark yet. That might come later this week. The PNA path has shifted. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-variability-pacific-north-american-teleconnection. Of course it is still going to a degree back east.
Picked up 2.5 inches of snow last night and have 12.5 inches on the ground. The snoweater got the snow total down from 14 ” to 10″. Need all the snow pack we can get now to keep the brush from getting tinder dry in April and May before the summer rains start.
Last night on NWS Alaska weather show they had some interesting charts showing the weather pass couple weeks covering the state. The Bethel and Kuskukim area in SW Alaska extending up along the Coast to Hooper Bay and almost in to Nome and inland to around McGrath they showed it been Warmer and wetter. Even SEAK was dryer then what that area has been. That is where all the big storms been tracking up along as they go up the Bering.
Here looks like some small Chinook winds from the gaps in the Alaska range during this cool down period. Some snow will be seen thru out the interior.
Wx here today has been little cool and mostly cloudy. Spent afternoon out removing the snow out of the driveway to my snow dump before it sets up and starts to ice.
Temperature 24 F
Wind ENE @ 2 Gusting 5
Dew Point 22 F
Pressure 29.42 and falling
Until later Stay well and keep an log on the fire and candle in the window.
Here map of my area in real time if anyone wants to track temps etc.
My station is DW1453 or D1453 on the map.