Anchorage 17.0 °F
Fairbanks -7.0 °F
Juneau 35.0 °F
Your Alaska Link Weather Blog
On Tuesday we had a little fun with our Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their temps were nearly 30 degrees cooler than here in Alaska. In fact much of the US was colder than Anchorage. Chicago's high on Tuesday was 5 degrees and a low of -11. Atlanta had a high of 25 and an overnight low of 6! Temps, "Hotlanta" isn't exactly used to. Last our friends in Grand Rapids saw yesterday a high of 9 and a low of -1. We know exactly how they feel.
So since we were enjoying our heat wave, they asked for a video of the weather up here in Anchorage, which they played during their 10pm news and then we received this in response.
Click the video to watch!
Thanks to Kevin Craig Fox 17 Meteorologist for this lovely video!
As I started to write this I can't help but laugh. 2014 has started off with a bang, but not here. Relatively quiet weather across Alaska while the lower 48 gets hammered with chilly temps. It is January 6th and our high was 40... Places like Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit saw feet of snow, and temps and wild chills below zero. So, just to put this into perspective.
You just never know what will happen when you enter the New Year. Especially weather wise. Records are meant to be broken and that sure happened in 2013. I know everyone remembers the summer? 40 days straight of 70 degrees or above. Also had one of the best dry streaks during that same time period. Or the few days at hit 80 and 90 in some areas. Just think about this... During the middle of May only a mere month earlier there was snow that fell marking the latest snowfall ever recorded in Anchorage. Like I said, records are meant to be broken and I'm sure we will find and break more records in the coming year.
So many have asked how are we doing as far as snow through the month of December. In my personal opinion its been a very "average" year for snow fall. For the months of November (11.2") and December (23.1") it has given us a winter total of 34.3" of snow. How does that compare to normal? Generally September sees .4" of snow, October will see 7.9" of snow, and keep in mind we saw nothing in either month. Then November with 13.1" and December averages 16.7" of snow. So our November of 2013 was a little on the light side but December made up for it. So our normal snowfall for this time of year should be 38.1" which we are behind by a mere 3.8" of snow. This is why I feel we are close to where we should be.
Looking at total precipitation for the year 2013 saw 25.97" of total precipitation, where as a normal year would bring 16.58". So we were well above normal. We had some of the two wettest months with 5.42" of rain in August and another 5.85" of rain in September.
For how much snow fell during the year, the calendar year saw 103.4" of snow and normally during a calendar year Anchorage would average 74.5" of snow. So a bit above average. Just remember that snow is measured not by the calendar year as I just did, but starting October 1st and going through the New Year into the end of September.
As we enter 2014 so far it seems very "average" with warmer than normal temps, but we all know that can change within a few days.
Waves crash into the Statue of Liberty. Water rushes as a 20 foot wall down Times Square, New York. People run into New York Public Library and rush to the second floor just as the wall of water slams into the building.
Scene from the movie
New York then is under 20ft of water and it begins to snow... The super storm moves into the area dropping temps well below freezing. People huddle in the library and start burning books to keep warm. They eye moves right over Manhattan and because of the intense low pressure super cooled air from the high atmosphere rushes into New York freezing everything nearly instantly.
Visible Satellite of Super Typhoon Haiyan
No this didn't happen, this is the scene from the move "The Day After Tomorrow" shown in 2004. While, it is VERY VERY unlikely that this will ever happen, today the STRONGEST Storm ever recorded made landfall in the Philippines at a strength off the Saffir Simpson Scale (used to rate Hurricanes). With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts over 235 mph it is the strongest Typhoon to ever be recorded and its name is Super Typhoon Haiyan.
The Saffir Simpson scale for hurricanes is based on sustained wind speeds. A category 1 has winds of 74-95. Category 2 from 96-110, cat 3 from 111-130. Then a category 4 (Strength of Hurricane Katrina) has winds of 131-155 and finally a Category 5 hurricane has winds over 156mph which include Hurricane Andrew back in 1992.
Infared Satellite taken early Friday Morning (local time)
The only other Hurricane to even ever record winds over 190mph was Hurricane Camille back in 1969 with winds of 190mph.
This Typhoon will go down in history books as one of the strongest ever recorded.
Its an obvious question. When will Anchorage see its first measurable snowfall? No surprise we haven't seen any yet. It has been an extremely warm fall, in fact so warm it was the warmest October on record! Can we set any snow records? It will be interesting to see when it actually first snows.
Records have been kept for nearly a hundred years now so we have a pretty good idea. Now every date that I reference here will have been with 0.10 inches of snow or more. Its hard to measure anything less than that.
Photo Courtesy of the National Weather Service
For starters, the earliest date that we have seen 0.10" or more was September 20th, 1947 and the latest date for 0.10" of snow or more was November 13th, 2002. It's a wide gap with the average first snowfall coming in the middle of October. Now with October ending and November starting tomorrow more records could be made as we flirt with freezing temps the next several days.
Below is the list of when snow first fell in Anchorage that was 0.10" or more from the last 20 years.
1993- Oct 17th
1994- Oct 8th
1995- Oct 14th
1996- Sept 21st
1997- Oct 14th
1998- Oct 17th
1999- Oct 13th
2000- Oct 12th
2001- Oct 11th
2002- Nov 13th - (Latest recorded first snowfall date)
2003- Nov 10th
2004- Sept 25th
2005- Oct 28th
2006- Oct 26th
2007- Oct 23rd
2008- Oct 6th
2009- Nov 8th
2010- Nov 2nd
2011- Oct 30th
2012- Sept 29th
We will continue to watch for that elusive first snow!
It has been a busy couple of weeks here at the office, so my apologizes for not updating this sooner!
Now we enter almost week 4 of the Accuweather.com 45 day forecast challenge to see how well they can predict 45 days out. Let me put it like this... NOT GOOD. Recapping week one they were colder by about 4-10 degrees everyday and its only getting worse for weeks two and three! So here we go!
When I forecast so many variables go into how I predict and what I am looking for. Here in Anchorage we are blessed by the Chugach Mountains which keep us dry when the winds come out of the Southeast. At the same time are temps are influenced by our proximity to the water and the last detail is how much sunlight we get. As we head toward winter we don't get enough sunlight to really heat the ground as you would like in most places in the lower 48. With that said, this fall has been WAY above normal.
WEEK 2 Accuweather Forecast- So for week two starting October 18th, Accuweather started with SNOW, a high of 38 and low of 30. Similar for the 19th with a 34 and 26 and snow for the day. Then temps start to drop... 29 H - 19 L on the 21st. Then a 28 and 18 with more snow for the 22nd. A 28 and 19 for the 19th and a 29 and 20 to end week 2 on October 24th.
So now that we know what Accuweather predicted we can see exactly what happened... Almost the exact opposite. Starting again the 18th, Anchorage was in the low 50's! With overnight lows in the mid 40's nearly 15 degrees warmer than what Accuweather predicted. Then the 21st through the 24th to end week two the only day even close to what they predicted was the 24th where it was a high of 36 and low of 26. Accu had predicted 29 and 20... Still they have no clue what is happening.
WEEK 3 Accuweather Forecast- Starting October 25th I will rundown quickly what Accuweather predicted then compare to actually what happened and its NOT pretty. Accuweather's week of high temps starting the 25th of October went 29, 27 ,26, 31, 30, 27 and finally 24 ending on Halloween..... When in reality it was 48, 40, 45, 51, 50, 44 and today was 43. In some cases they were almost 25 degrees off. I wont even compare the lows because it wasn't even close...
Now how can we trust Accuweather when they couldn't predict a five days out let alone 45 days. To me its insane. I would put more trust in Brick from Anchorman than anything..