The Alaska State Fair saw the state’s record broken for the largest pumpkin grown in the state. 2147 pounds worth.
Tag Archives: record
Alaska has two very different salmon stories being told in 2022. In one, the Bristol Bay Fishery is booming. Last year the salmon harvest set a sockeye record in Bristol Bay, and the region has already topped that record in 2022. Over 73.7 million sockeye salmon have returned to their spawning grounds in and around Bristol Bay, with over 56 million harvested.
The Yukon River basin, however, is headed for its worst run ever. The sonar station has never recorded such a low number of Chinook salmon, and the run for the entire drainage-wide system may only hit 50,000. Not one tributary is expected to make their escapement goals. Salmon fishing for the entire drainage, which includes the rivers in and around Fairbanks, has been closed for the entire season.
The chum salmon run, which starts in late summer, is also expected to be bad. The season will start out closed for fishing, with a hope that enough chum return to open for a fall season. No one is expecting it to open.
A very dry June
The months of May and June in 2022 were the driest, statewide, on record. The period of January through June was the fifth warmest on record. Amazing, considering the staggering amount of snow we had, up to New Year’s. The tap was simply shut off.
So far in the 2022 fire season, Alaska has seen 2.74 million acres burn. The Clear Fire, near Anderson, Alaska and the Clear Air Force Base, is now pushing 70,000 acres and is right up to the Space Force Base boundaries. It is one of three fires that account for most of the smoke driven towards Fairbanks.
With the 2.74 million acres burned, we have passed the entire 2019 fire season, and 2022 is already the 8th largest season in acres burned.
I included the final photo simply because I love the image. Kudos to the Fire Service Photographer who captured it.
Jumping the glacier?
The Alaska Cruise Ship Industry is (roughly) forecasting a record 1.6 million tourists in 2022. That would be an increase of 18% over the previous record 1.3 million in 2019.
After two disastrous years due to the pandemic, I can see why the industry is desperate for a good year. But record breaking? That seems like a stretch, and might be a bit premature.
Will people be traveling at that level in 2022? Can the cruise ships, and more importantly, the small coastal businesses find the staff to handle those kind of numbers? 2022 will no doubt remain an interesting travel year within the 49th State.
As forecast, a Chinook blew into Interior Alaska this past weekend, driving temps in Fairbanks up into the 40’s. It was +44F at 8am in the valley on Sunday morning. The average high on Halloween is +18F. Also, as expected, our dusting of snow became a few patches of white.
Further south in Alaska: The NWS station in Girdwood at Alyeska recorded 9.5″ of rain in a 24 hour period. Nearby Porter Glacier Visitor Center recorded 10.34″ of rain on Saturday. It is the first 10+ inch precipitation event in 24 hours in Alaska since 2012. The storm total at Portage Glacier was 17.72″, as of Sunday evening. The epicenter for this event is Mount Baker, which is just 75 miles east of Anchorage, but 13,000 feet higher. The forecast for the slopes of Mount Baker “Snow could be heavy at times”. SATURDAY AFTERNOON: 29-35″; SATURDAY NIGHT-SUNDAY MORNING: 108-114″ Possible; SUNDAY AFTERNOON: 82-88″; SUNDAY NIGHT: 100% Chance of Snow, Heavy At Times.
Running Below Freezing
It was a nice run Anchorage.
Anchorage made a go at it, I have to admit. They had been putting together an impressive run of days at, or below, freezing. Not Fairbanks, impressive, but impressive none the less. The record for Anchorage was, and still is, 59 days below 32F. The run ended at 58 days. Oh, so close!
The area north of the Brooks Range has the best grip on below freezing streaks, hitting 250 days of 32F or below.
Forecast for Alaska temperature difference from normal on Saturday. (WeatherBell.com)
No matter where one goes in town, everyone is talking about the weather. It’s hot. For Fairbanks, Alaska… it’s damn hot. Very few people are thrilled with it either.
Fairbanks is virtually assured that this month of December will be the warmest on record.
Fairbanks weather data through Dec. 19. National Weather Service
Every day this month, we have seen temperatures above normal. Throw out the first two days of the month, and we have been well above normal.
It hasn’t just been Fairbanks either, this has been statewide, which is saying something. Alaska is not a small state. On December 8, Juneau hit 54 degrees, which was warmer than Houston, Texas.
In the middle of the month, Anchorage saw 4 straight days of 45 degrees or higher, which was also a record.
Eagle, Alaska on the Yukon has been 23.5 degrees above normal for the month. Kotzebue, on the west coast, has tied record highs.
In Utqiaġvi, the community formerly known as Barrow, 74 out of the last 79 days have been above normal in temperature.
Big, red blob over Alaska; big, blue, hunk of cold over midwest (Wetherbell.com)
This weather pattern is freaky, even considering recent winters. It’s just too warm for us. The roads are a slick mess, and they will remain so all winter if we don’t go below zero. The rivers are often used as highways between villages, but they have not developed enough ice for travel. In spite of open windows, I still have been letting the fire go out for much of the day.
This is ridiculous. The Big Island of Hawaii not only is getting more snow on it’s peak, but temps there are colder than Anchorage. We want our winter back.
Back to flannel lined Carhartts
Temperatures this morning were in the low teens here, and the wind has not stopped howling since early Sunday. It made for a rough day out there, as I attempted to frame a deck in, while trying to keep the lumber from blowing away.
For the first time this season, the long underwear top went on, as did the flannel-lined Carhartt jeans. I do love those pants.
In other Alaska News:
Barrow, AK on 15 October 2016. Photo credit: Barrow Sea Ice Cam!
Utqiagvik, also known as “The Community Formerly Known as Barrow”, set a new record this autumn for the latest accumulation of snowfall. The old record was October 12, set in 1998, and every day without snowfall extends the record. Utqiagvik has seen flurries, but nothing measurable.
The first ten days of October saw Utqiagvik hit record warm temperatures. During that period, temperatures averaged 10.4 degrees above normal.
It should be noted, that “The Community Formerly Known as Barrow” also experienced a record early snow melt this past May. That record beat the old one by 10 days.
The northern Alaska community voted earlier this month to change the town’s name from the English “Barrow” back to the Inupiaq “Utqiagvik.” The vote was: 381 votes in favor to 375 votes opposed. Utqiagvik is pronounced Oot’-kee-ahg’-vick.
Wet, wet, wet…
June 2014 was the wettest June on record in Fairbanks. Judging by the water flowing down the Chena River, I believe it.
Sadly, the month of July seems to be continuing the trend.