Saturday, January 1, 2011

December Weather was Cold and Dry

Although we didn't see any truly nasty cold snaps (i.e. 50-below and colder) it sure seemed cold to me.  The National Weather Service apparently agrees.  In an announcement today, they noted that "Temperatures were persistently chilly last month... though not extreme by interior Alaska standards. The average high temperature was 10 below and the average low was 26 below. The monthly average temperature of 17.9 below was 12 degrees below normal and made this the coldest December in Fairbanks in 30 years... and the 11th coldest December in 106 years of records.

Every day of the month had a low temperature below zero... and on 27 days the high temperature failed to get above zero. This included a 25 day streak from the 5th to the 29th... which is the longest streak of temperatures continuously zero or below in more than 30 years.

Precipitation was quite light in December. A total of 4.1 inches of snow melted down to just 0.23 inches of water... and most of this came on the 13th and the 31st. This is only about a third of normal precipitation for the month. Thus far this winter just 23.4 inches of snow has fallen at the Airport... a little more than half of average. The snow depth started off the month at 10 inches and was up to 13 inches by late new years eve.

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