Alaska Climate Research Center

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2014 April Monthly Report


Highlights

Fields were cleared at Creamers Field on April 2nd in Fairbanks in anticipation of the arrival of the migrating geese. The first two geese were spotted just two days later on the 4th. Later a winter snowstorm on the 7th generated terrible driving conditions in the Fairbanks area. By the 15th, the river ice in the Bethel area was unsafe for driving on. The first 30 miles of the Denali Park Road was open to the public by the 17th, then to mile 92 by the end of the month. This was the quickest snow removal for Denali Park on record. The snowpack at the Fairbanks Airport dropped below an inch on the 23rd, for a total of 168 days of greater than one inch of snowpack for the winter. The average is 186 days. The shorter span for this winter was due to the onset of the permanent ice pack being 19 days later than normal (November 5th, 2013). The Nenana Ice Classic Tripod fell on the 25th. A late winter storm with winds up to 40 mph struck the Dalton highway on the 28th, stranding vehicles due to low visibility and snowdrifts. Early breakup of the icepack on the 29th in the Nome area caused problems for people trying to get gold mining or fishing equipment off the ice before breakup (see figure 4). Denali Park was closed to snow machines by the 30th. Finally, the warm, dry April resulted in increased fire concerns in the Anchorage area by the end of the month.