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2013 October Monthly Report


Highlights

The month started out with high wind warnings for Southcentral and the Interior on the 6th. The winds caused power outages in parts of Anchorage and pushed into the Interior with winds up to 80 mph in the Alaska Range. The Denali Highway was closed do to heavy snow on the 9th, but minimal effort was put into clearing it as the highway was closed for the winter on the 13th. High winds were again warned for portions of the Interior close the Alaska Range on the 27th, while an unseasonably late rainfall made driving in the Fairbanks area treacherous. In addition, storm warnings for high winds, and flood warnings/watches were issued for the Southcentral region on the 27th. In the storms aftermath Amber Lake totaled 3.04" on the 28th, while Bear Valley saw winds up to 106 mph and the Anchorage Airport measured 40 mph. Up to 60 mph gusts were measured at Tanacross in the Interior, and over 60 mph at Delta Junction. Disaster declarations were issued for the Seward and Central Peninsula areas due to localized flooding. For Fairbanks, the precipitation resulted in more hazardous driving conditions due to ice on the roads. The storm impacted driving on the Elliott, Dalton, and Alaska Highways.

The unseasonably warm weather and high winds, especially in the Interior, resulted in the reemergence of the Mississippi Fire near Delta Junction on the 30th. The fire had originally started in May had had been smoldering. Fire fighters were dispatched to the fire, and this is the latest date of the year that anyone at the Fire Service could remember actively fighting a wildfire. A last minute snowfall on the 31st made sure that it was a "white Halloween" in Fairbanks. Only in 1938 did Fairbanks have a "brown Halloween" with no snow on the ground. For Fairbanks, the late onset of winter was paired with a late start to spring back in May.