Alaska Climate Research Center

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2012 May Monthly Report


Highlights

According to the National Weather Service, "Greenup' day for Fairbanks was May 10th. The average day is
about May 8th. Low precipitation for the Interior for the first third of the month resulted in low humidity,
and combined with high winds on the 11th resulted in red flag warnings being issued. A number of small
wild fires erupted around Fairbanks and Delta Junction, but were generally contained quickly.

The 25th recorded a new precipitation record in Fairbanks at 0.52", just above the 1973 record of 0.50".
This record rain combined with last season snowmelt generated rapidly rising river levels in the Interior
and flood advisories were issued for Chena, Salcha and Goodpaster rivers. This heavy precipitation
terminated the wild fire concerns from earlier in the month. A late winter storm with strong winds and
drifting snow on May 27th resulted in a travel advisory being issued for the Chandalar region of the Dalton
Highway.

It was an extreme winter for sea ice in the Bering Sea. As noted before a record extent was observed in
March. On May 3rd, St. Paul Island was engulfed in ice, and had been for 103 days at that point and the ice
had yet to retreat north of the island. The previous record was 100 days reached in 2010. St. George Island
also set a record of 79 days, topping the old record of 60 days, also from 2010.