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2014 July Monthly Report


The month started off with a record rainfall in Fairbanks on the 1st, and heavy rain across the Interior for the 1st and 2nd, resulting in the Moose Creek Dam being closed for the second time this summer (and only for the 22nd time in nearly 35 years) and the gates were not lifted until the 7th (Figure 4). Fairbanks received 3.38" in the two days, nearly a third of the normal annual total. Flood warnings and watches were issued across the region for the next couple days, some extending until the 7th. Flood warning was also issues for the Tiaya River near Skagway on the 4th. The 8th saw voluntary evacuation orders put in place for areas along the Matanuska River in Butte due to high water. A glacial lake outburst at the Mendenhall Lake near Juneau on the 10th resulted in flood warnings. Also on the 10th a major bridge in Fairbanks that crosses the Chena River was closed to fix a sink hole, one of several that have appeared in the area over the previous few weeks, including one that nearly swallowed a riding lawn mover at the University of Alaska campus. Even as the Interior dried out from the rain, the extreme high water table created numerous problems, such as flooding many septic tanks, across the Fairbanks area for the rest of the month.

A high wind advisory was issued for the Middle Tanana Valley on the 14th. The airport at Fairbanks recorded a peek wind speed of 38 mph. Power was lost for about 500 households in the Ester area, and over 800 in the North Pole area. Not all power was restored until the next day. That storm also brought more unwanted rain across the region, including 0.30" at Fairbanks. The persistent high water on the Chena River resulted in the cancelation of the annual Red Green Regatta in Fairbanks on the 20th. Clearing skies resulted in a warning for cool temperatures around the Fairbanks area also on the 20th. A low-pressure system from the Arctic coast moved through the middle of Alaska on the 24th bringing heavy rain to the Alaska Range, and snowfall to areas of the southeastern Brooks Range.