Fairbanks had 5″ of snow in October, which is trending downward for the month. Between 1981 and 2010, October saw an average of more than 10″. Fairbanks has not seen an October with significantly above average snowfall in 18 years. Not that I’m complaining about that statistic. I’m in the “delay the snowfall for as long as possible” camp.
Sunday morning saw our first below zero temp of the season. It was -10F at the cabin. That is two days later than the average first dip into the negatives.
The Tanana River is at flood stage near Fairbanks due to an ice dam. We often think of ice dams causing trouble at break up, but they can cause havoc in the autumn too.
The length of day on Halloween in Fairbanks was 7 hours and 58 minutes. All Saints Day will be 6 minutes and 45 seconds shorter.
The record low on Halloween is -30F. The record high for the day is 46F. The average is +5 and +20 respectively. 2022 was slightly cooler than average.
Even though Alaska had a warm and very dry start to summer, the state has not seen 90F yet. although some recording stations have hit 89F. A few northern locations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories broke the 90 degree mark, but none in Alaska.
The state of Alaska currently has over 225 wildfires burning within its borders and over 1000 firefighters battling the blazes. So far this fire season, over 2 million acres have burned, which is the earliest date to hit that milestone in the past two decades.
A red flag warning has been in effect throughout Interior Alaska, and fireworks were banned over the weekend. The Borough implemented a $1000 fine for anyone caught setting off fireworks, which did make for a relatively quiet 4th of July.
Nature ignored the fines however, as we have had a very active few days of lightning. Between June 28 and July 4th, the state had 25,000 strikes, and Tuesday alone saw another 4500 lightning strikes, which started 13 new wildfires.
I have not seen the final numbers for June, but the month was expected to contend with the driest Junes on record statewide. Which is saying something, as it’s a pretty big state.
Over the past five decades, Alaska has seen a substantial increase in precipitation. The Southeast & South-Central part of the state has seen only single digit increases, which is probably a good thing considering much of that area is a rain forest.
Interior Alaska has seen a 12% increase in precipitation. I can’t say I’m surprised by that, as we definitely seem to be getting more snow during the winter. With a warming trend, we were bound to see more snowfall.
Bering Sea ice is at its highest level this late in the season since 2013. Which is good news for Alaska in 2022. Not only does the extended sea ice help out our wildlife, but it offers protection for communities like Nome from fierce winter storms.
Between 1930 and 2015, Fairbanks had a total of five Halloweens with less than an inch of snow on the ground. Counting this year, we have had five years since 2015 with less than an inch of snow on the ground. Currently, we have a dusting, and with 40F degrees forecast for Halloween Weekend, the odds are in favor of a brown Halloween for 2021.