July 2014 Statewide Summary

Alaska Statewide Climate Summary

July 2014

 

Temperature

 

July 2014 temperatures were narrowly above normal across the state, with 10 of the 19 First Order Stations reporting negative deviations, eight recording above normal, and Annette reporting as normal. Calculating the mean daily temperatures of the 19 stations (see Figure), 16 days of the month were below the 30-year normal. There was an eleven-day warm spell starting the 2nd followed by a twelve-day cold spell starting on the 17th. The peak deviation (4.7°F) occurred on the 5th. The monthly mean temperature of all First Order Stations was 55.7°F, just 0.2°F above the normal of 55.5°F. This is 1.7°F below the July of 2013 mean of 57.2°F. Cold Bay held the greatest positive deviation from normal for July at a significant 4.9°F above its long-term mean of 50.9°F. Stations following Cold Bay with positive deviations equal to or exceeding 2°F: St Paul (3.1°F), Homer (2.8°F) and Kodiak (2.5°F). All stations with positive deviations were southern coastal stations. The only two stations with a negative deviation exceeding 2°F from normal were Bettles (-3.7°F) and Barrow (‑2.9°F).

 

The warmest temperature reported for the First Order Stations was 87°F at Fairbanks on the 6th. The coldest temperature was 29°F at Barrow on the 15th. Barrow also reported the lowest July mean temperature at 38.0°F, while Fairbanks reported the highest mean temperature for the month at 61.0°F.

 

Station

Temperature

Observed
(°F)

Normal
(°F)

Delta
(°F)

Anchorage

59.8

58.8

1.0

Annette

58.6

58.6

0.0

Barrow

38.0

40.9

-2.9

Bethel

56.0

56.1

-0.1

Bettles

56.0

59.7

-3.7

Cold Bay

55.8

50.9

4.9

Delta Junction

58.4

60.2

-1.8

Fairbanks

61.0

62.5

-1.5

Gulkana

57.4

57.6

-0.2

Homer

57.4

54.6

2.8

Juneau

57.4

56.9

0.5

King Salmon

57.0

55.5

1.5

Kodiak

57.0

54.5

2.5

Kotzebue

53.6

54.6

-1.0

McGrath

59.1

60.0

-0.9

Nome

51.1

52.2

-1.1

St. Paul Island

50.3

47.2

3.1

Talkeetna

59.4

60.1

-0.7

Yakutat

54.7

54.3

0.4

 

 

 

Description: First Order Temperature

Daily mean temperature deviation from the normal temperature for the mean of the first order stations for July 2014.

 

A fair number of record temperature events were reported for July with the high events outnumbering low events more than four to one. King Salmon had both a new high and a new low on the 30th, not a common event. Cold Bay had four high events, St Paul three high events, and King Salmon had two. All three stations are around the Bristol Bay area.

 

 

Temperature Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

07/05/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

65

63

1991

07/05/14

Homer

High Temperature

74

71

1949

07/05/14

McGrath

High Temperature

85

85

1997

07/06/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

67

63

1996

07/06/14

Kotzebue

High Temperature

77

76

1987

07/07/14

Kotzebue

High Temperature

80

77

2009

07/07/14

Nome

High Temperature

84

80

1968

07/09/14

St. Paul

High Temperature

56

56

2004

07/13/14

St. Paul

High Temperature

60

60

2005

07/14/14

Annette

High Temperature

83

78

1958

07/14/14

Hollis

High Temperature

83

80

1956

07/15/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

66

64

2001

07/15/14

Hollis

High Temperature

82

78

1961

07/17/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

65

65

1979

07/17/14

King Salmon

Low Temperature

36

37

2010

07/25/14

Bethel

Low Temperature

40

40

1969

07/26/14

McGrath

Low Temperature

42

42

1972

07/27/14

McGrath

Low Temperature

36

40

1986

07/30/14

Bethel

High Temperature

78

76

1965

07/30/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

70

65

1978

07/30/14

King Salmon

High Temperature

80

79

2002

07/30/14

King Salmon

Low Temperature

41

42

1951

07/31/14

St. Paul

High Temperature

63

63

1969

 

 

Precipitation

 

The overall precipitation calculated as the mean of the deviations in percentage of the 19 stations was just 24% above normal. Only six of the First Order Stations and twelve days of the month reported below normal values. The greatest daily deviation of 218% occurred on the 1st, a day with heavy precipitation in the Interior. On a monthly basis, Fairbanks had the greatest positive deviation from normal, with a total of 5.78", or 268% of the expected amount of 2.16", which represents the second highest July total on record after 2003 with 5.96". This follows a record wet June in Fairbanks. Following Fairbanks, with values at or above 150% of normal, were Bettles (212%), Juneau (180%), Kotzebue (175%), Anchorage (177%), and Annette (163%). Leading the stations with lower than normal precipitation totals were Kodiak and Talkeetna with 52%, and St. Paul with 58% of normal.

 

Station

Precipitation

Observed
(in)

Normal
(in)

Delta
(in)

Delta
(%)

(%)

Anchorage

3.23

1.83

1.40

77%

177%

Annette

7.60

4.65

2.95

63%

163%

Barrow

1.01

0.98

0.03

3%

103%

Bethel

2.73

2.36

0.37

16%

116%

Bettles

5.00

2.36

2.64

112%

212%

Cold Bay

2.13

2.48

-0.35

-14%

86%

Delta Junction

1.66

2.68

-1.02

-38%

62%

Fairbanks

5.78

2.16

3.62

168%

268%

Gulkana

2.26

1.81

0.45

25%

125%

Homer

1.65

1.55

0.10

6%

106%

Juneau

8.26

4.60

3.66

80%

180%

King Salmon

2.38

2.30

0.08

3%

103%

Kodiak

2.58

4.93

-2.35

-48%

52%

Kotzebue

2.59

1.45

1.14

79%

179%

McGrath

2.58

2.38

0.20

8%

108%

Nome

2.62

2.11

0.51

24%

124%

St. Paul Island

1.07

1.85

-0.78

-42%

58%

Talkeetna

1.76

3.39

-1.63

-48%

52%

Yakutat

6.42

7.88

-1.46

-19%

81%

 

 

Description: First Order Precipitation

Daily mean precipitation deviation from the normal for the first order stations for July 2014.

 

 

The maximum monthly precipitation total reported for the First Order Stations was 8.26" at Juneau, while Fairbanks reported the highest daily total of 1.92" on the 1st, a new daily record. The highest one-day snowfall occurred at Barrow on the 24th with 0.7Ó, a new daily record, and Barrow also reported the highest monthly snowfall of 0.9".

 

Despite the higher than normal precipitation reported for July for most stations, there were a limited number of daily precipitation records, and most were set during the first half of the month. Skagway Airport broke a record set back in 1904. It was the second wettest July on record for Fairbanks, just behind the 5.96" from 2003, and following a record wet June. The precipitation total for Fairbanks from June 1st to July 31st was 9.34", a record for the two months, topping the 1949 total of 7.02". Juneau also had the second wettest July with 8.26", quite a bit short of the 10.36" from 1997, and also following the wettest June on record. Similar to Fairbanks, the total for Juneau for June 1st to July 31st was 15.65", breaking the total for the same period of 13.88" from 1997. Juneau only had five day in July with no precipitation. Barrow set a new daily snowfall record for the 24th.

 

 

Precipitation Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

07/01/14

Fairbanks

Precipitation

1.92

0.65

1935

07/04/14

Haines Airport

Precipitation

1.18

0.45

1981

07/04/14

Skagway Airport

Precipitation

0.95

0.36

1904

07/05/14

Hollis

Precipitation

0.58

0.55

1950

07/09/14

Bettles

Precipitation

0.90

0.72

2013

07/12/14

Annex Creek

Precipitation

1.81

1.00

2007

07/12/14

Auke Bay

Precipitation

2.09

1.38

1997

07/12/14

Cold Bay

Precipitation

0.83

0.39

1952

07/13/14

Bethel

Precipitation

0.48

0.41

1982

07/14/14

Bettles

Precipitation

0.38

0.29

1989

07/24/14

Barrow

Snowfall

0.70

0.60

1945

07/25/14

Auke Bay

Precipitation

1.55

0.99

1995

07/28/14

McGrath

Precipitation

0.48

0.45

1946

 

 

Description: Figure 3

This water vapor satellite image from the National Weather Service shows weather pattern affecting the Interior portions of Alaska on July 1st, 2014. The storm resulted in heavy rainfall across the region.

 

 

Newsworthy Events

 

The month started off with a record rainfall in Fairbanks on the 1st, and heavy rain across the Interior for the 1st and 2nd, resulting in the Moose Creek Dam being closed for the second time this summer (and only for the 22nd time in nearly 35 years) and the gates were not lifted until the 7th (Figure 4). Fairbanks received 3.38" in the two days, nearly a third of the normal annual total. Flood warnings and watches were issued across the region for the next couple days, some extending until the 7th. Flood warning was also issues for the Tiaya River near Skagway on the 4th. The 8th saw voluntary evacuation orders put in place for areas along the Matanuska River in Butte due to high water. A glacial lake outburst at the Mendenhall Lake near Juneau on the 10th resulted in flood warnings. Also on the 10th a major bridge in Fairbanks that crosses the Chena River was closed to fix a sink hole, one of several that have appeared in the area over the previous few weeks, including one that nearly swallowed a riding lawn mover at the University of Alaska campus. Even as the Interior dried out from the rain, the extreme high water table created numerous problems, such as flooding many septic tanks, across the Fairbanks area for the rest of the month.

A high wind advisory was issued for the Middle Tanana Valley on the 14th. The airport at Fairbanks recorded a peek wind speed of 38 mph. Power was lost for about 500 households in the Ester area, and over 800 in the North Pole area. Not all power was restored until the next day. That storm also brought more unwanted rain across the region, including 0.30" at Fairbanks. The persistent high water on the Chena River resulted in the cancelation of the annual Red Green Regatta in Fairbanks on the 20th. Clearing skies resulted in a warning for cool temperatures around the Fairbanks area also on the 20th. A low-pressure system from the Arctic coast moved through the middle of Alaska on the 24th bringing heavy rain to the Alaska Range, and snowfall to areas of the southeastern Brooks Range.

 

Description: chena discharge

Discharge rates for the Chena River at three locations for July 2014. The effect of closing the Moose Creek Dam on the 2nd can be seen. Data courtesy of the USGS (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ak/nwis/rt).

 

This information consists of preliminary climatological data compiled by the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. This summary is based on the 19 first order stations in Alaska operated by the National Weather Service. Extreme events of other stations are also mentioned. It should be noted that the new climate normals for the time period of 1981-2010 are applied for the calculations of the deviations, and they can be slightly different from the old normals (1971-2000), which were in use up until end of August 2011.