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2022 fire season winding down

Cool and wet weather patterns in August brought the unusual 2022 fire season to an end in much of the state. Acreage burned and the number of total fires increased only moderately over the last weeks. However, dry conditions persist in parts of the Interior and late season lightning caused several new fires in August, …

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End-of-June Wildfires

Alaska wildfires are spreading at a rapid pace. There have been 365 fires confirmed by the end of June 2022 (ref.: Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Wildland Fire Dashboard). Almost 1.8 Mio acres have burned, which exceeds the end-of-June acreage of any record fire year (i.e. 2004, 2005) to date since observational data exist. Abnormally dry …

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Snow: End of Season Summary

With temperatures warming and green up in Fairbanks just around the corner, it’s safe to say that the snow season has come to a close.  At some locations, the 2021-2022 snow season was one for the history books due to notable snow- (and rain) storms and record breaking snowpack accumulations.  Below are charts of accumulated …

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Snow Summary

The end of February is fast approaching, and with it meteorological winter is coming to a close in the northern hemisphere.  However, that does not necessarily mean that winter is over in Alaska.  Below are charts of accumulated snowfall and snow depth for for Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.  The charts include values for the 2021-2022 …

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Tonga Eruption Shockwave

Saturday, January 15, 2022: The explosive eruption of Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai sent a shockwave around the world.  Such extensive atmospheric gravity waves triggered by a volcanic eruption have never been observed before.  The waves spread in all directions, completing a circumnavigation of the globe and producing observable pressure peaks at weather stations worldwide. The US National …

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Winter Solstice Daylight

This year, astronomical winter starts on December 21 at 6:59 AKST.  The amount of daylight, as well as the timing of sunrise and sunset, vary considerably across the state on the shortest day of the year.  For example, locations north of the Arctic Circle will not see the sun rise on the solstice, while the …

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December in Fairbanks

While the contiguous United States experiences abnormally high temperatures this month, another round of bitterly cold temperatures is in store for the Interior of Alaska.   Temperatures in the 30s and 40s below zero Fahrenheit occur during this time of year, however, Fairbanksans may be wondering how recent low temperatures compare to the norm. From the …

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Halloween Weather Extremes

Weather conditions on Halloweens past across Alaska have covered a wide range: from mild to bitter cold, dry to rainy (or snowy).  Below is a table showing the warmest and coldest recorded temperatures, as well as the highest precipitation (liquid equivalent) and snowfall totals for October 31st at 19 first-order weather stations.   Table. Records of …

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First Snowfall Date

With winter fast approaching, one commonly asked question we get is “What is the average date of the first snowfall of the season?”  The answer is that it depends on the location.  The table below shows the mean date of the first snowfall at 19 first-order weather stations, as well as the earliest and latest …

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