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Fairbanks December 2012


In Fairbanks the average temperature for December was -17.3°F, an astounding 13.2°F below the long-term mean, and the second coldest December in the last 30 years, just behind December 2010. The lowest temperature for the month was bone chilling -48°F on the 17th, while the highest temperature was a balmy 34°F on the 31st, an increase in temperature of 82°F in two weeks. The month started off continuing the cold spell from November, warmed up for five days around the 11th, then stayed cold until the last week of the month. Ten days hit lows at -40°F or colder. No new record temperature events were recorded.
Precipitation was above normal in December, with a total of 1.19", 0.55" above the expected value of 0.64". Snowfall totaled 18.5" for the month, 12.1" above normal, with 18.2" of the total snowfall hitting between the 9th and 14th. A new record snowfall occurred on the 12th with 9.5", topping the old 1972 record of 5.7". In conjunction, the 12th saw new record precipitation total of 0.72", shattering the old record of 0.17", also from 1972. With the protracted winter storm, Fairbanks had nearly eliminated its winter snow deficit. The mean wind speed was 1.1 mph, with a maximum gust of 26 mph on the 13th, blowing from a westerly direction.