Early season record cold temperatures stun residents of Alaska

November 18, 2011FAIRBANKSA mid-November cold snap seems to have caught even seasoned Fairbanksans off guard. “I don’t think anybody was really expecting this,” 43-year-old Shawn Ross, a lifelong Fairbanksan, said. “This came out of the blue.” For the second time in three days, Fairbanks set a new low temperature record on Thursday. A temperature of 41 degrees below zero — the first 40 below temperature of the season — was recorded at Fairbanks International Airport at 6:29 a.m., according to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. That broke the old record of 39 below set in 1969. The cold air settling in the flatlands has concentrated air pollution. The Fairbanks North Star Borough issued air quality advisories on Wednesday and Thursday because particulate matter was above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards and rated as unhealthy for sensitive groups. Fairbanks set a new record of 35 below on Tuesday and the temperature bottomed out at 39 below on Wednesday, two degrees shy of the record. Thursday’s record low of 41 below marked the sixth earliest 40-below temperature recorded by the National Weather Service in Fairbanks since 1904. The earliest it’s ever hit 40 below in Fairbanks was Nov. 5, 1907, when it hit 41 below. The last time Fairbanksans saw 40-below temperatures in November was in 1994, when temperatures of 45, 43 and 45 below were recorded on Nov. 24, 25 and 30, respectively. The bitter, early season cold had Interior residents wondering if somebody turned the calendar ahead a month or two. “This sort of thing is certainly more common in December and January than November,” meteorologist Dan Hancock at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said. “We can go through an entire winter and not get this cold.”Ross, who has owned Badger Towing for 11 years, said even he wasn’t prepared for a cold snap this severe so early in the season. –News Miner excerpt
contribution Amy P
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9 Responses to Early season record cold temperatures stun residents of Alaska

  1. Irene C says:

    And for anyone who has never witnessed below zero temeratures, it’s not just cold, it’s brutal. Although rare for Ohio, we’ve had them along with wind chill factors.

    I’m sure that, even though they were caught off guard, they know how to deal with it safely.



    • james sinclair says:

      We have no Wind Chill Factor here in Fairbanks. What you see is straight tempature. It has been 25 to 40 below here for around 8 days now and it does not seem that it is gonna change a good deal any time soon. I live around 17 miles northwest of fairbanks in a small cabin at the mouth of the Chenna and Tanna River. I haul my own water, and use the outhouse and have a Shower in my living room using a RV water pump, 40 gallon trash can, and a 5 Gallon hot water heater. Would not live anywhere elese. Would not live any other way. We help each other, the way it is supposed to be. Don’t worry much about bad folk, we all have guns plus some. Nope, no complaints here.



  2. Kahren says:

    No way, I couldn’t stand that sort of temperature, I’d die..Thank goddess NZ doesn’t get that cold!!


  3. Ian says:

    UK has extreme weather too – possibly the mildest November on record. Whilst this good to keep the heating bills down, the flip side is that we have had a much reduced level of rainfall, so the reservoirs are not filling as they should.


  4. Evo says:

    I also live in the UK, and the weather, is, very odd. A complete contrast to last year.
    Some plants that are not due till February are showing shoots now. There are still lots off leaves on the trees. We still have healthy tomatoes in our greenhouse. Wild mushrooms have suddenly appeared again.
    The downside is gloomy cloudy days, everyday.
    At least with really cold, frosty nights, the day light hours are full of glorious sunshine. I miss them.


  5. CRAIG: the IPCC hasn’t got the foggiest idea about if weather will get wetter – drier – hoter or colder… they do have very authoritative ‘double speak’ and according to a newly leaked document they care now preparing to officially hedge their bets…… peek here:


  6. APAK says:

    The good thing about very cold, dry weather is that the roads aren’t slick like Anchorage’s.


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