2017 April Monthly Report
Fairbanks broke 50°F on the 1st of April for the first time since October 12th, 2016. On the 4th, avalanche warnings were issued for Turnagain Arm, Kenai, and Chugach Mountain areas. On the 4th, 5th, and 6th, avalanche reduction efforts were conducted along the Seward Highway around the Turnagain Pass area. Hazardous driving conditions were reported along the northern end of the Dalton Highway on the 5th, then on the southern end the next day.
Hazardous conditions extended into the next day for much of the Elliott and Dalton Highways.
On the 4th, gusts up to 72 mph were recorded at Cape Decision, 47 mph at Annette Island, and 39 mph at Ketchikan. The high winds continued into the next day with 69 mph recorded at Lincoln Island and Cape Decision, 63 mph at Hydaburg, 59 mph at Ketchikan, 48 mph at Annette Island, and 41 mph at Yakutat.
On the 10th, hazardous driving conditions were reported on the Top of the World and Taylor Highways. Temperatures dropped in the Interior on the 18th with -4°F reported at Eagle and -2°F at Circle Hot Springs. High winds were reported around the Interior and western Alaska on the 19th with 43 mph at Shaktoolik River, 40 mph at Ruby, 39 mph at Unalakleet, 38 mph at Tanana, 34 mph at Livingood, and 32 mph at Fairbanks.
For Fairbanks, the 3rd longest stretch of days (205) where the minimum temperature was less than 30°F ended on April 22nd. The longest stretch was 213 days that ended May 5th, 2013. The next day ended the 207-day stretch of temperatures below freezing. The snowy winter in the Juneau area helped the Eaglecrest Ski area stay open 95 days, the longest stretch since 2012.
Dry conditions resulted in a small grass fire on Douglas Island, on the 24th. The next day, a burn suspension was issued for the Tok area due to dry, windy conditions. Smoke jumpers fought their first wildfire of the season near Delta Junction on the 27th.