Introducing the May Misery Index

It seems May in Alaska tends to be either really good or really bad, weatherwise. How was your May? Folks in Anchorage had to wait till the last day of the month for the temperature to get above 60 this year. For Kodiak, May offered up only 6 days when the high made or bettered […]

Is it ever too cold to snow? To go outside in shorts?

It turns out that a thing to do in Fairbanks when it drops below minus 40 is to get a selfie or usie in front of the UAF welcome sign with the temperature readout… after stripping down to something you might wear on a tropical beach. Nanook, the UAF mascot posted this one on UAF’s […]

Wind and cold, calm and colder

After a very warm end to 2023, 2024 has taken quite a turn to the cold side in Southeast Alaska, and there are some interesting meteorology lessons in this cold snap. The cold weather in Southeast Alaska the past few days leads me to compare it to usually much colder places in Alaska. For instance, […]

Wet, windy warm front sweeps Southeast Alaska

It’s not often that the warmest time of the day is early in the morning, but that was the surprising fact at many locations in Alaska’s panhandle today. A small but potent low with a defined push of warm air on its eastern flank (the warm front) moved north last night and during the early […]

Heavy roof snow loads

There has been a lot of snow this winter in many parts of Alaska. Here are some maps of snow depth from the Alaska River Forecast Center. Keep in mind many are from remote automated stations, some at high elevation. Fairbanks and other parts of the interior were hit hard over the Christmas holiday with […]

Early season 100+ mph storm in Southeast AK

Southeast Alaska was hit hard Friday night, October 1st, 2021. High wind, heavy rain throughout, and, at quite a few locations, thunderstorms and even hail. Fortunately, in most places the worst was relatively short-lived. The storm was a potent one for the first of October. I’ll do the usual play-by-play and statistics, then examine a […]

model depiction of 2m air temperature

Sudden summer: when interior warmth invades coastal Alaska

Thursday’s (6/20/19) high of 73F (23C) in Utqiagvik (Barrow) set a new all-June high temperature record for the station and exemplifies a phenomena I (and I’m sure others) call a coastal temperature spike, though the term has not made it into any meteorological glossaries that I know of. Highs were in the 30s F (~3C) […]

Fog, freezing fog, and ice fog (oh my!)

If you think fog is a simple thing then this post may complicate things, but hopefully in an interesting way. If you get confused by the various terms used in media and on websites and phone apps for various types of fog, [fog, mist, freezing fog, ice fog, etc], then maybe I can “clear” things […]

Long run of “just right” weather in SE Alaska

Thirteen days in a row with highs in the 70s F (21-26 C) (but not hotter) in southeast Alaska is quite notable. This is what just ended in Haines, and close to it in Petersburg and Wrangell. This graph shows the nice consistent dirunal (day-night) pattern of clear weather at Haines. (The data is from the airport, where on the 20th it did not quite make it to 70, but it did at the slightly warmer climate station, so that’s where the 13 days is).