Alaska Climate Research Center

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Utqiaġvik December 2011


Barrow reported an average temperature in December of -9.6°F, below the normal of -7.8°F. A maximum temperature of 6°F occurred on the 11th, and a minimum temperature of -30°F was observed on the 31st. Most of the month showed values close to the expected values and no new temperature extremes were observed during December. Precipitation in Barrow, which is low in Northern Alaska, totaled 0.60", more than 4 times the expected value of 0.14". A strong storm occurred on the 4th December, with average wind speeds above 30 mph, and gust exceeding 50 mph. It brought 0.33" of precipitation, beating the previous record for this day of 0.19 set in 1922. This was associated with a new snowfall record of 6.5", surpassing the old record of 2.5" set also on this day in 1922. Both these values are in fact new records for all days in December. The previously highest precipitation amount for any day in December had occurred on 13th December 1930 with 0.26", and the highest amount of snowfall (5.0") had been observed on 29th December 1922. The mean monthly wind speed was 12.8 mph and the highest gust of 52 mph occurred on the 4th.