Pioneer Park in Fairbanks; or “Alaskaland”, as it is still referred to by the Sourdoughs
Data for 16 January 2019; information requested by RWS
High temp: -2F
Low temp: -19F
Average Daily high: 0F
Average Daily low: -16F
Record high: 52F
Record low: -58F
Length of day: 5 hours, 12 minutes
We saw a gain of 6 minutes of daylight from the previous day. We have gained roughly 34 minutes in the morning, and 57 minutes in the evening since the Winter Solstice.
2019 is already starting off with colder weather than anything we saw in 2018. In fact, 2018 was the 6th warmest year on record for Fairbanks.
A low temp of 33F was recorded several times during the winter of 2017-18. That low temp of 33 in January & February was a tie for the second warmest low temp on record.
The high temp for all of 2018 was 88F on 22 July.
2018 was also wet, which comes as no surprise. It was the fifth year in a row that Fairbanks saw substantially above average precipitation. Last winter, Fairbanks had 70.6″ of snowfall, which is only slightly higher than average. We really added to that with some wetter than normal summer months.
Three out of the past five years (2014, 2016, 2018) make the top ten warmest on record.
“As the days lengthen, so the cold strengthens…”
We have had a fairly mild winter so far in Alaska’s Interior. There have been a few nights in the -20F range, and little to no -30. As we pass the half way mark, my wood pile, much to the resident weasel’s delight, has well over 50% remaining.
On Saturday, the high temp barely made it to -25F, and Sunday morning it dropped down to -36F. For us, that isn’t drastic cold, but we’ve been spoiled of late, and the drop has people chattering. It also caused the phone to start to ring. Like natural disasters, cold weather brings work for the contractor. A call requesting exterior work was met with a chuckle, and the response: “Not until it warms up”. A call on Saturday night about frozen pipes required a schedule change. I don’t enjoy dealing with frozen pipes, but at least they are not my pipes.
As the forecast stands, there will not be much of a break in the cold front for a week. Next Sunday, we may near single digits below zero, and we currently don’t have positive temps on the agenda until Monday.
“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.”
— John Burroughs
Comic credit: Chad Carpenter with Tundra
High noon in Alaska’s Interior
It’s going to be an active Solstice, with a Full “Cold Moon”, and the Ursid meteor shower. The American Meteor Society expects peak activity to be around 11 sporadic meteors per hour just before dawn in the mid-Northern Hemisphere. With the full moon, they may be a tad difficult to spot.
Also early Friday morning, Mercury and Jupiter can be seen in the southeast sky just before dawn at only .9 degrees apart, which is about two moon-diameters.
The Fairbanks Weather Almanac:
Details for Dec 20, 2018
Low Temp………….. -24F
Avg Low………….. -13F
Record Low……….. -48F
High Temp……………- 7F
Avg High…………….+ 5F
Wind……………….. 0 mph
Length of Day………. 3 hours, 42 minutes; which was NO LOSS from the previous day!