Tag Archives: Fairbanks

Frosty Morning

First Freeze

Officially, Fairbanks hit 32F for the first time this season on Sunday morning. That means we had a string of 114 freeze-free days.

Unofficially, I have already seen a couple of 32 degree mornings at the cabin, but Sunday was the first hard freeze of the season. The temp when I finally ventured outside was 28F, but judging from the frost on leaves and windshields, I would guess it had dropped a couple of degrees cooler.

A new season has begun in Interior Alaska.


Summer ’22 Wrap-up

Data credit: ACCAP; Graphic credit: @AlaskaWx

The Lower 48 remains caught up in the heat of summer, but autumn has taken hold in Alaska. The seasonal graphic that AlaskaWx puts together is a review that I always enjoy, so I’m sharing it here.

Weather-wise, Alaska was all over the map this past summer. Fairbanks had one of our driest summers on record, while Anchorage had a top three driest June, only to then see a top three wettest August.

Toolik Lake had snow in July, while Denali Park saw the white stuff accumulate in August.

The Southeast had an early heatwave, and Cold Bay saw a record early first freeze.

Overall, Alaska has seen 3.11 million acres burn to wildfire, which is the seventh largest burn season since 1950.


Code Red

The fireweed is the first to go.

There is a tint of gold to the hills these days, and the fireweed is bright red. We are venturing towards the Dark Side.


The last snow pile

August snow breakup

Department of Transportation employees were out breaking up the last mound of snow that they hauled this past winter. I think they took it personally, that last year’s snow was going to still be there when they started to haul in this coming season’s snow.

The mound above was broken up and spread out to get it to melt. No word on whether overtime pay was involved.


The Return of the Lights

Graphic credit: NWS/NOAA

As we slide into the Dark Abyss that is winter, there is one phenomenon that makes up for our shortened days: The Northern Lights.

With a geomagnetic storm in progress, and a forecast of clear skies, the first aurora of the season may be visible over the cabin in the next few days.


Quiz

Unknown date; Traveling north out of Fairbanks

I was sent the above picture, with the question: “Where in Fairbanks is this?”

My response: “Behind a Land Rover.”

I received an “eye roll” emoji for my efforts.

Other than the Series Rover, the image shows what is now the Steese Highway as it swings by Birch Hill.


’67 Flood

Aerial photo of Fairbanks after the Chena River overflowed its banks

This week is the 55th Anniversary of the Great Flood of 1967 that hit Fairbanks. The first half of August that year saw near continuous rainfall, that eventually was too much for the Chena and Tanana Rivers to hold back.

Downtown Fairbanks in August of 1967

At its peak, 95% of Fairbanks was under water. Over 6000 homes and businesses were a total loss, and as many sustained damage. Eight people lost their lives due to the flooding.


SS Nenana Day

On Saturday at Pioneer Park, the Borough will celebrate SS Nenana Day, to honor the Last Lady of the River.

The SS Nenana steamed the waters of the Yukon and Tanana Rivers between 1933 and 1954. It was officially retired in 1957, and has been a museum ship since 1965.

The SS Nenana; Photo credit: Fairbanks North Star Borough

The Nenana is one of only three steam-powered passenger sternwheelers left in the U.S. and the only large wooden steamer to survive the years.

Inside the Nenana’s wheelhouse

The Nenana has been neglected, restored, and then neglected once again. Efforts, including today’s celebration at Pioneer Park, are underway to try to stabilize, and hopefully restore the Last Lady of the Yukon.


Frozen Chicken

Graphic credit: NWS-Fairbanks

The end of civil twilight

The period of civil twilight+ came to an end in Fairbanks late last week. It was a run of 75 days of constant light. Basically, one can do anything outside without the use of artificial lights during civil twilight. Including baseball games!

It’s all downhill from here until December 21st.