Tag Archives: graph

A Warm Winter


Data from NOAA; Collected and graphed by Rick Thoman

Fairbanks could almost call the Winter of 2018-19 as the Winter that Wasn’t. Since September 1st, we have seen 80 days that have been at least 10F degrees warmer than normal. Fairbanks saw 13 days that were 10F degrees or more colder than normal.

For those that like their math: 76% of the days since September 1, have had above normal temperatures in Fairbanks.

By the way, we saw rain yesterday. Rain in March in Fairbanks, Alaska, is not the norm.

To follow Rick Thoman, the Wizard of Climate, check out his twitter-verse: @AlaskaWx


2018 Earthquake Review


Alaska: 2018 Seismicity; Color coded by depth, Notable events labeled

The Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, has done their annual year in review for 2018. We set a record for earthquakes within the state, with over 55,000 events during 2018. That blows past the previous record of 42,989 set in 2017. The next highest number occurred in 2014 with 40,686 quakes. We had so many earthquakes in 2018 that AEC is still counting to get a specific number.

It needs to be noted, that much of the increase in numbers is due to advancing detection techniques, as well as additional recording stations. The purpose of this post, is not to imply that Alaska is about to break off from the Yukon, but to show how seismically active Alaska is.

The two largest earthquakes have set off thousands of aftershocks. The 7.9 magnitude quake in the Gulf of Alaska was the largest, followed by the now rated 7.1 near Anchorage in November.

We also had a couple of “swarms” in the northern part of the state, in the Brooks Range & on the North Slope, that lasted for months, and accounted for over 17,000 events.

The surprise earthquake of the year, happened near Kaktovik, on Alaska’s north coast. The 6.4 mainshock and 6.0 aftershock, were by far the largest ever recorded north of the Brooks Range.

On Saturday, March 9, a sudden jolt went through the cabin as I worked about the place, while listening to Minnesota hockey swarm the Michigan Wolverines. Sure enough, a 3.7 magnitude quake had occurred roughly 15-20 miles from the cabin.

A very special thanks to the Alaska Earthquake Center for the above graph and earthquake information.


How’s it shaking?


Sensor monitor reading at University of Alaska

Interior Alaskans felt the Earth move a bit on Tuesday morning. It wasn’t a big earthquake, at only magnitude 4.6, but it was widely felt at 7:18am. It’s note worthy, mainly because it has been a couple of years since I felt one pass through.

On Sunday morning, Kaktovik, which is located on the Beaufort Sea coast, woke up to a 6.4 magnitude quake. It was the largest earthquake ever recorded on Alaska’s North Slope.

Earthquakes in Alaska are far from unusual. An earthquake is detected once every 15 minutes, on average, within the state. In 2014, Alaska set a record with over 40,000 shakes. Over the past five years, the Alaska Earthquake Center has reported over 150,000 earthquakes. Of those, 31 had a magnitude over 6.0. and four went over 7.0. Seventy-five percent of all earthquakes over 5.0 within the United States happen in Alaska.

The 7.9 magnitude quake, that hit us in 2002 when the Denali Fault ruptured, is the largest I have experience. The 1964 Good Friday Earthquake was a magnitude 9.2, and it is still the second largest earthquake ever recorded anywhere on the globe.

Graph and stats credit: Alaska Earthquake Center


Thursday Temps

Global Temperature Graph

The global graph shows temperatures around the world as they happened on Thursday and compare them against average. Look at that bright red glow across the NW Territories, The Yukon and Northern Alaska.

We’re back to the heat here in Alaska. It’s been over a week of lighting a fire in the wood stove before I go to bed, and letting it go out over night. Then the next night, starting a fire again, and repeating the process. The cold snap on the eastern seaboard of the United States is a long ways from Interior Alaska.

Anchorage has been forced to give up the Iditarod Dog Sled Race to Fairbanks, due to absolutely no snow on the southern route to Nome. No doubt Anchorage is seething at this, but race officials could not repeat the disaster of 2014.

The Open North American Sled Dog Race had to reroute out of downtown Fairbanks due to the Noyes Slough ice being unsafe.

Now, a Plan C is being considered for the Iditarod, because the Chena River ice is quickly becoming thin in this heat wave. The race was to be run from the Chena River in Fairbanks to the Tanana River and then onward to Nome, but now an overland route to the Tanana is being considered.

I received a text today from New York State, asking about frozen pipes and how deep water lines run in Fairbanks to avoid the frost line. As I respond from Interior Alaska, I’m dressed in tennis shoes and a light fleece jacket, and I couldn’t help but notice that I’m standing in the open water of a puddle in a parking lot.

If it wasn’t for the two weeks of -40 & -50, the tripod down in Nenana would be toppling in record time.

Get that bug dope out.

Graphic comes courtesy of the University of Maine