Tag Archives: weather

Catch of Day Two

We caught some fish

Normally, we head down to Seward with the idea that we may get one day of fishing in with decent seas. This year, we went down knowing we had perfect weather for the entire time on the coast.

The second day out, we hit the silvers early and often outside of Resurrection Bay. Once we hit our limit there, we came into the Bay for the possibility of three more silvers each. The fishing within Resurrection Bay was considerably slower, but we did catch some cohos.

Since we were planning on being out on the water all day, we wrapped things up by going after rock fish. It took us a couple of stops to find them, but when we did, it was nonstop action. Rock fish are a blast to fish, and they are incredible eating too.

It was a great day out on the water, and I have a nicely stocked freezer as winter approaches.

It’s not full, but the freezer holds some fish


Kenai Burning

The view from the Parks Highway: McKinley Fire

The road to Seward had an unexpected gauntlet north of the town of Willow, Alaska. Severe winds had knocked over a power pole, and the resulting sparks set off a wildfire along the Parks Highway.

The winds were still howling when we went through. Firefighters were on the scene, but things didn’t look good. By the time we made it to Anchorage, we learned that the fire had made the jump, and both sides of the road had flames. The Parks had been closed to traffic behind us.

A smokey Seward Harbor

The high winds continued on the Kenai Peninsula, as we drove south on the Seward Highway. The Swan Lake Fire had been all but contained, but the winds gave it a breath of new life, which closed the Sterling Highway, and left the taste of burning spruce in all of our throats.

Out on Resurrection Bay: Looking back at Seward Harbor

Once on the water, the smoke diminished some, but we didn’t really escape it until we were out in the Gulf of Alaska.

To date, Seward had seen 2.25″ of rain, which is unheard of. They normally see 64″ in a year. The town of Homer had been hit even harder still, with only 1.15″ of rain this season. Needless to say, the Kenai Peninsula is seeing drought conditions.

The fishing was good, and at times great. There was no rain in the foreseeable forecast, so no one had rain jackets. The temps were in the 70’s F, and we all ended up fishing in short sleeves. Out of all my trips to Alaska’s coast to fish, this one may have been the most surreal.


The waning of summer

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Fairbanks daylight; Graph by @AlaskaWX

Civil twilight ended on Sunday morning in Fairbanks. Monday was the first time since May 16th, that we have not experienced civil twilight at night. All night.  Basically, during civil twilight, the sun is just below the horizon, which allows for most outdoor activities to take place without artificial lights. As if to punctuate that fact, when I returned home from the working-fishing trip, my security light came on for the first time in months.

Sigh.

Fairbanks community wood pile

I needed one more truckload of firewood to put me over the top for the coming burning season, so I went the easy route and picked one up. The wood has now been hauled, split and stacked. It’s a good feeling to have all those BTU’s piled up outside the cabin. I’m ready for a cold winter, but if we have a mild one like last year, I’ll have quite a bit left over.

Fireweed past bloom

 

Fireweed is our unofficial harbinger of darkness. The plant blooms from the bottom to the top. When we reach the peak of the fireweed blossom, like we have right now, residents of Interior Alaska feel a natural sense of apprehension. Summer is nearing its end; winter is close at hand.

What about autumn in the Interior? It’s beautiful, and to be honest, September is my favorite month up here. With a little luck, autumn could last a good 3-4 days.


Warmest March on record

Info credit: ACCAP/NOAA; Graphic credit: @AlaskaWx


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


Weather Almanac

Fairbanks, Alaska

Details for Thursday, November 29

High Temp: +19F
Low Temp: + 4F

Average High: +11F
Average Low: – 6F

Record High: +47F
Record Low: -40

Sunrise: 10:13am
Sunset: 3:04pm
A loss of 5 minutes, 30 seconds from yesterday

Moonrise: 11:47pm
Moonset: 2:41pm


Temperature Inversions

We have been getting rain for much of the night here in the Interior of Alaska. As I get ready to turn in for the night, I noticed that we are currently 34 degrees warmer than Minneapolis, and 2 degrees warmer than San Antonio, Texas.


Weathering

From Sunday morning to Monday afternoon, my rain gauge totaled 1.9″. That’s a fair amount of precipitation for us in the Interior.
On Friday, we saw the mercury rise to 90 degrees, on Tuesday morning, I found a layer of ice on my truck’s bed cover. ICE!
One never knows what’s around the corner up here. Which, of course, is half the fun.


Mercury Rising

On Friday, as reported, the temps in Interior Alaska were in the 90’s. On Saturday, the high at my cabin was 80F, and by Sunday things had cooled down to a 54 degree high. A cool-off of 36 degrees since Friday. At the cabin, .7″ of rain fell through Sunday afternoon, which was needed.

On January 18th of this year, the low in Fairbanks was -52F. That makes a 142 degree swing this year alone, from year low to high. 142 degrees, so far…


Back to flannel lined Carhartts

The pond has frozen
The Pond has frozen

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, Alaska
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.