Alaska Climate Research Center

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2019 January Monthly Report


Highlights

Fairbanks was just one of a number of communities that recorded the coldest temperatures in 2 years during the cold snap at the beginning of the month. While temperatures of -40°F and below are common in many parts of Alaska during winter, prolonged periods of deep cold have become rarer in recent years. As temperatures rose to exceptionally high values later in the month, organizers were forced to cancel 2 sled dog races due to rain. A portion of the 1000km Yukon Quest race was also cut due to lack of snow.

After 2-5 feet of new snow fell in the area, a special avalanche advisory was issued for Turnagain Pass for the weekend of January 25th-27th and the advisories for Hatcher Pass also warned backcountry travelers about the dangers associated with significant amounts of new
snow and wind.

The extent of sea ice in the Bering Sea declined during the last week of January but is still significantly larger than at the same time last year.