Alaska Climate Research Center

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2012 October Monthly Report


The clear, cold weather experienced at the end of the month in the Southeast generated a number of new record low mean monthly temperatures, as noted above. The cold and dry conditions also resulted in new record low monthly precipitation records being set across the region. These records are tabulated in the following table.

Fairbanks saw the first ice float down the Chena River on October 12th, followed by the first measurable snowfall on the 14th, almost two weeks later than normal, as the average date of first measurable snowfall is October 1st. The snowing continued, and on the 14th a snowstorm made Atigun Pass treacherous to motor traffic and a travel advisories were instituted until the 19th. Travel advisories were also issued for parts of the Richardson Highway due to snow. Cold temperatures settled across most of the state for the second half of the month, and Fairbanks saw its first below zero temperature (-5°F) on the 22nd. The Dalton Highway received another winter travel advisory due to blowing and drifting snow on the 31st. Also on the 31st, Kodiak experienced some interesting smog-like haze. A lack of snow and strong winds (35 to 40 mph) had driven ash from the 1912 eruption of the Norarupta volcano on the Alaska Peninsula across the Shelikof Strait to settle across parts of the island.