Bitter cold -65°F temperatures hit Alaska

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:13 PM GMT on January 30, 2012

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If you're wondering who's getting all the cold air the lower 48 states is missing during this non-winter of 2012, the answer during the past week has been Alaska. Our 49th state is used to intense winter cold, but not like what they've experienced during the past week. Friday night and Saturday night, temperatures plummeted to -50°F and -51°F in Fairbanks, marking the first time since 1999 the city had seen back-to-back minus fifty nights. The low temperature so far today at the Fairbanks International Airport has been -44°F, giving the city sixteen days of -40°F temperatures so far this month. Since 1906, there have only been three years (1906, 1934, and 1971) with more 40 below days during the month of January. At forty below zero, the air is so cold that the water vapor condenses out into ice crystals, which float in the air creating a low-visibility fog. A large area of Alaska experienced bitter cold temperatures of -50 to -65°F Sunday morning:

FORT YUKON CO-OP..............65 BELOW
KANDIK RIVER CO-OP............64 BELOW
FORT YUKON AIRPORT..........62 BELOW*
BETTLES.................................60 BELOW**
HUSLIA.....................................60 BELOW
MANLEY HOT SPRINGS............60 BELOW
NORTH POLE/WOODSMOKE....60 BELOW
CHICKEN CO-OP.....................59 BELOW
GALENA AIRPORT....................58 BELOW
TANANA...................................58 BELOW
CIRCLE HOT SPRINGS..........58 BELOW
DELTA 20 SE CO-OP...............58 BELOW
COLDFOOT................................57 BELOW
EAGLE CO-OP.........................57 BELOW
KALTAG...................................56 BELOW
GOLDSTREAM CREEK..........55 BELOW
ARCTIC VILLAGE..................54 BELOW
NENANA..................................54 BELOW
SALCHA..................................54 BELOW
FAIRBANKS AIRPORT..............51 BELOW
DELTA JUNCTION/FT GREELY......50 BELOW
LAKE MINCHUMINA.................50 BELOW
MCGRATH.................................50 BELOW

*TIED DAILY RECORD LOW OF 62 BELOW SET IN 1909
**EXCEEDS DAILY RECORD LOW OF 58 BELOW SET IN 1989

The cold snap is expected to continue through mid-week, with more -65°F temperatures possible in the interior valleys north of Fairbanks. Warmer air is expected to arrive state-wide by Thursday.


Figure 1. It's a tradition! Photo taken Sunday, January 29, 2012, by one of our more adventurous wunderphotographers. Image credit: wunderphotographer TerezkaSunshine.

All-time U.S. low temperature record threatened?
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was a -80°F (-62.2°C) reading from Prospect Creek, AK (about 180 miles north of Fairbanks) on January 23, 1971. A weather station just a few miles from Prospect Creek, the Jim River DOT site, appears to have recorded a low temperature between -78°F and -79°F Saturday morning (January 28, 2012), shortly before the weather station lost power. Keeping the power going at -70 is very tough, and it is not a surprise to see that the station lost power during this extraordinary cold snap. Power just returned this morning to the site, where the temperature was -66°F at 7 am AKST. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt is corresponding with Alaska's state climatologist to get more information on whether the data during the power outage will be recoverable, and how reliable these near-record low temperatures might be.

Jeff Masters

54°F Below (alaskajuliens)
This capture was shot just outside of North Pole , Alaska. It was a very cold and slow night for aurora hunting. One of these days I will learn to leave earlier in the evening.
54°F Below
SunDog (katy99780)
Looking due south down a side road, not too long after noon. Chilly night last night, down to -51.
SunDog
Dangerous Temps (alaskajuliens)
This was shot at 0345 on 29, Jan. It was painfully cold.
Dangerous Temps

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77:

I have a few theories about that.

Mid lattitudes should experience more warming than low lattitudes, so for example the region between 40N and 55N should warm much faster than say 25N to 35N.

the results of this, I believe, is the hurricanes will be able to form much farther north, and category 1 and 2 storms will also be able to hit Europe moving in from the west across the northern edge of the Atlantic, around the high pressure systems there.

The area between 30N and 30S represents half the globe, but should have the least gain in temperature.

The Gulf of Mexico might be 1C or 2C warmer by 2100, since it is a heat trap anyway, it might be more than that on the warmest years.

The 40N to 55N regions of the oceans might be as much as 5C or 6C warmer, and grade that down to +1C or +2C at 30N, and maybe +0.5C at the equator. This will allow for very strong, very long-lived hurricanes in places never seen. The east coast of the U.S. would see stronger hurricanes more often. Europe might also get hit by a few category 1 or 2 storms per year, etc.

In terms of TCHP, if you heat the average temperature of a collumn of water by 1C to a depth of 100M, you increase TCHP by 42kj/cm^2. That's a LOT.

This means very strong, very long-lived storms, over a wider area in the basin, and over a longer time period during the year.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting yqt1001:


That chart was from the 2008 elections, the 2012 chart is coming out in the next few weeks.


I take issue with the definitions used to create the chart.

Liberal does not equate with socialism in my book.

Let me copy over the first part of the Wiki on liberalism...

"Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis)[1] is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights.[2] Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, and freedom of religion.[3][4][5][6][7] These ideas are widely accepted, even by political groups that do not openly profess a liberal ideological orientation.

Liberalism first became a powerful force in the Age of Enlightenment, rejecting several foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as nobility, established religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings."


That someone made a graph and used their person definition of liberalism makes the graph basically worthless.

Words have meanings....

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BBC News
Satellite photo of Iceland Plants trapped under Iceland's icecaps store a record of ancient temperatures
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories



The Little Ice Age was caused by the cooling effect of massive volcanic eruptions, and sustained by changes in Arctic ice cover, scientists conclude....Link
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Quoting RTSplayer:


>The only real debate any more is how bad it's going to be and how soon...that sort of thing.



BINGO! We have a winner.

Only a few years back Arctic scientists were predicting that we would see the Arctic seas ice free in about 100 years. If we have more 'business as usual', as long as some unforeseen force doesn't come into play we could see ice free months in the next five years.

What will that mean for the major topic on this blog - tropical weather/storms? If the ice is largely gone by late summer where is all that extra heat going to go? Will it greatly increase ocean/Gulf temperatures and greatly strengthen our hurricanes?

Will the ocean current patterns change bringing more strong storms onto land or carry them out to sea and off to Europe?

What happens when a hurricane hits a possibly much hotter and much dryer Texas/Florida? Will it burn itself out within a few miles of the coast or will it carry much further inland?

Will we see an increase in the number and strength of tornadoes, along with a lengthening season or will changes in the jet stream be a tornado killer? Will tornado alley move north to Minnesota and Canada?

We're in the process of melting away a large amount of accumulated ice that we've laid down over many years. When that is gone what strange and wondrous things will be in store for us?
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Live interview with President Obama
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Quoting BobWallace:


OK, if you want to define "Left" as socialism and right as, what "unregulated capitalism" then perhaps. But that's not how most of us define left/liberal. Liberal has nothing to do with socialism, socialism is an economic theory (and one which almost everyone on the left views as a failed theory). Anyone who lived in a commune in the '60s can tell you that socialism is a piece of cr@p. Socialism fails for the same reason that unconstrained capitalism and libertarian-ism fail, too many people are too greedy.

Personally I, and every liberal I know, define liberalism as a belief in equal rights for everyone and a fair opportunity for everyone to achieve their goals. And an adequate safety net so that none of us have to lie dying in the gutter if we have some bad luck.

Based on that definition I'd put PBO and Joe Biden far to the liberal side.



That chart was from the 2008 elections, the 2012 chart is coming out in the next few weeks.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
Quoting yqt1001:


Well according to this he places here:



And besides, with the rise of welfare states during the Cold War, neutral has moved over a lot and many things you mentioned (especially gay rights, worker rights, school equality and environmental protection) aren't considered to be socialist when you aren't American. Yes, Obama has a left bias in comparison to republicans, but he isn't a socialist unlike what FOX proclaims.


OK, if you want to define "Left" as socialism and right as, what "unregulated capitalism" then perhaps. But that's not how most of us define left/liberal. Liberal has nothing to do with socialism, socialism is an economic theory (and one which almost everyone on the left views as a failed theory). Anyone who lived in a commune in the '60s can tell you that socialism is a piece of cr@p. Socialism fails for the same reason that unconstrained capitalism and libertarian-ism fail, too many people are too greedy.

Personally I, and every liberal I know, define liberalism as a belief in equal rights for everyone and a fair opportunity for everyone to achieve their goals. And an adequate safety net so that none of us have to lie dying in the gutter if we have some bad luck.

Based on that definition I'd put PBO and Joe Biden far to the liberal side.

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Quoting snotly:
Not actually a "blizzard" but I think I remember channel 2 coming on at 9 pm that night and saying maybe 2 inches total, when there was already 5 inches on the ground and thunder-snow! LOL! All said and done there was 19 inches by 9am. It looked like someone was using a snow "salt shaker" and the sky was flashing deep blue with lightning and rumbling with muffled thunder every half hour or so. A couple of awnings collapsed on the house down the street from the weight of the snow. I remember digging snow 'tunnels' to get around (I was 10 at the time) and walking down the middle of the 4 lane streets with no cars around anywhere. The first flakes were the size of silver dollars and it took 5-10 minutes for the first 2 inches to fall.

Granted, just going by something I heard on radio today. I was north in Chambana then, believe we had enough wind for Blizzard, one of few U of I cancellations if memory serves, but that might have been another, tend to run together at this point. Never forget those 20' drifts in March '78 though. Few other times in late 70s as well.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
I know recently I have been posting in doubt of AGW, but after doing some research of my own and looking at the possible hypothesises, it is the most logical explanation for the recent extreme weather and obvious climate changes in the Arctic. It also explains the fact of recent record high temperatures outnumbering record lows by almost 20-1 this winter. There does need to be more observations and research to confirm it, but I do think that something is going on here, and it is being caused indirectly or directly by mankind.

Like, I literally spent all morning and afternoon reading scientific literature to make a conclusion of my own.


If you're serious about this, google topics such as "How fast is Greenland melting," and study the top 5 or 10 articles it finds.

You can also find a lot of good information and further links here.


try this:

See middle of the article for extrapolation of monthly sea ice volumes over the next 5 to 10 years.

It's real.

The only real debate any more is how bad it's going to be and how soon...that sort of thing.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520


the time has come
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Quoting BobWallace:


What a very strange claim to make.

Take any of the continua on which we divide left/right and President Obama (and Joe Biden) are well to the left.

Women's rights, gay rights, workers' rights, "right to choose", health care for all, school equality, Social Security and Medicare for seniors, environmental protection, and on and on and on....

You draw a false line, I'm afraid. You must confuse being a pragmatic liberal with being a Chamber of Commerce, "give my kids the advantage", "don't worry about the environment/climate" type.



Well according to this he places here:



And besides, with the rise of welfare states during the Cold War, neutral has moved over a lot and many things you mentioned (especially gay rights, worker rights, school equality and environmental protection) aren't considered to be socialist when you aren't American. Yes, Obama has a left bias in comparison to republicans, but he isn't a socialist unlike what FOX proclaims.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
(Obama being near moderate-right).


What a very strange claim to make.

Take any of the continua on which we divide left/right and President Obama (and Joe Biden) are well to the left.

Women's rights, gay rights, workers' rights, "right to choose", health care for all, school equality, Social Security and Medicare for seniors, environmental protection, and on and on and on....

You draw a false line, I'm afraid. You must confuse being a pragmatic liberal with being a Chamber of Commerce, "give my kids the advantage", "don't worry about the environment/climate" type.

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I know recently I have been posting in doubt of AGW, but after doing some research of my own and looking at the possible hypothesises, it is the most logical explanation for the recent extreme weather and obvious climate changes in the Arctic. It also explains the fact of recent record high temperatures outnumbering record lows by almost 20-1 this winter. There does need to be more observations and research to confirm it, but I do think that something is going on here, and it is being caused indirectly or directly by mankind.

Like, I literally spent all morning and afternoon reading scientific literature to make a conclusion of my own.
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Belief has nothing to do with data. That's the whole problem with anti science folks (on this blog they are paid oil company lobbyists). They are trying to confuse people about what data is and is not. Data is data and data shows what data shows.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Is there a true definition of fascism?


Apparently yes. What's not clear is whether fascism is to be classified as "right". The Wikipedia page on fascism appears reasonable as a starting point for inquiry.
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"Pythons apparently wiping out Everglades mammals."

Link

And I'm sure plenty of wading birds too.

Only a matter of time until...

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Not actually a "blizzard" but I think I remember channel 2 coming on at 9 pm that night and saying maybe 2 inches total, when there was already 5 inches on the ground and thunder-snow! LOL! All said and done there was 19 inches by 9am. It looked like someone was using a snow "salt shaker" and the sky was flashing deep blue with lightning and rumbling with muffled thunder every half hour or so. A couple of awnings collapsed on the house down the street from the weight of the snow. I remember digging snow 'tunnels' to get around (I was 10 at the time) and walking down the middle of the 4 lane streets with no cars around anywhere. The first flakes were the size of silver dollars and it took 5-10 minutes for the first 2 inches to fall.

Quoting dabirds:
About 100 opposite of AK, StL approaching tie of record high of 67, currently 66. Also, 30th anniversary of the Blizzard, 13" @ Lambert, numerous 20 plus in area though.

Edit: Still 66 @ 3:30, looks like will come up short. 66 was enough earlier this month, but not today.
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Quoting yqt1001:
Far left: ideal communism (communal society)
Far right: fascism

Both of the extremes aren't too popular in the world, and any states that used them as an ideology botched them up tons. The USSR was more of a moderate-extreme left, as the state replaced the business man. Fascism was actually more neutral (0.5 on the scale I believe) than Obama (Obama being near moderate-right).

So no, not much far-left or far-right on this blog as the ideal ideologies of fascism and communism aren't popular.





(Stalin believed in true communism, but didn't implement it, instead he implemented a system where he would benefit the most)

This is where I stand:

Is there a true definition of fascism?
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I didn't realize if you weren't pro AGW then you aren't a scientist.
Not supporting AGWT doesn't automatically make you not a scientist any more than supporting it automatically makes you one. But if you're anti-science and anti-truth, you're not a scientist--no matter how many diplomas you have hanging on your wall.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
I didn't realize if you weren't pro AGW then you aren't a scientist.

Well, I are one of those, or at least I was last I looked. I'm not "pro" AGW, in fact I'd be just as happy if it went away. I accept AGW as the best available hypothesis to explain the data. I accept it to the point of walking to work in preference to using gasoline. I accept it unless and until somebody (somebodies) come(s) up with a better idea. Lots of non-AGW ideas are out there, but when they're tested, they don't stand up.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



The name of the blog tells all you need to know.
Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the righties at least two to one.


Doug, ride it easy.

Mother Nature doesn't poll our politics. She doesn't care. She just does her thing and if we can survive, seems unlikely at this point, we can come along for the ride.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
We've gone a whole month in 2012 without a tropical system in the Atlantic? What a bust this season is!


ROFL
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


LOL. Define "lots."

If you are referring to discussions of climate change, having actual scientists correct scientific misinformation does not make someone "far left" - nor far right.


I didn't realize if you weren't pro AGW then you aren't a scientist.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the righties at least two to one.


LOL. Define "lots."

If you are referring to discussions of climate change, having actual scientists correct scientific misinformation does not make someone "far left" - nor far right.
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Now dat's a well baked cake.  ;^)~
Quoting BeCoolOrBeCastOut:
The political spectrum is not a straight line, it is Horseshoe or Omega shaped, the labels don't matter to me, I see the far left and far right as welfare-warfare nanny-state collectivists at either end of the Omega, with individualism and the inalienable rights of man at the top of the Omega.

I think there a narrow use for an international criminal court, Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan , Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of the PNAC/FPI crew of limp-wristed Straussian neo-Trotskyites for example should be tried at the Hague for their war crimes, Cheney/Bush and Mr. Nobel War is Peace prize winner O'Bomber after that, that is the only proper role for a world court, anything other crimes ought to be prosecuted in the country in which the alleged crimes were perpetuated, if it happened in the U.S., and they try to bring it to a world court, that's a violation of the 6th amendment.

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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



The name of the blog tells all you need to know.
Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the righties at least two to one.
sorry you feel so lonely.. gee, if only there were some more normal folk like you around here... says i
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About 100 opposite of AK, StL approaching tie of record high of 67, currently 66. Also, 30th anniversary of the Blizzard, 13" @ Lambert, numerous 20 plus in area though.

Edit: Still 66 @ 3:30, looks like will come up short. 66 was enough earlier this month, but not today.
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OK Curly!!
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I'll have you to know I resemble that remark!



We should do a Wunderground stooge's animated series.


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Quoting RitaEvac:


Read post 11


I did, thanks. It all moves westward from Siberia when this happens. It will begin tomorrow here (western Germany) and in the UK a day or two later.
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I'm sure Jahari's window must be next?
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There's more dimensions with which to measure a person's political and fiscal views than just two.

It's kind of silly and meaningless anyway, without reference to an objective, scalar standard of how individuals were ranked and evaluated in each dimension.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
I'll have you to know I resemble that remark!
Quoting Patrap:
I avoid the FAUX reality of Fla. and Virginia,, exclusively,
Thanx

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Quoting airman45:
Freezer door is opening in western Europe starting tomorrow. After a very mild winter temps will drop to below 0F by Thursday in Stuttgart. Normally doesn´t get that cold even in a bad year.


Read post 11
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
I'm about as Left as anyone posts here and I can tell you for a fact that I have yet to see a "far left" post on this blog.

As a friend from Europe once told me:  "Watching US politics is about as fun as watching a foot ball match where the object of the game is to see who can get the ball closest to the center-line."
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



The name of the blog tells all you need to know.
Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the rightys at least two to one.

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Freezer door is opening in western Europe starting tomorrow. After a very mild winter temps will drop to below 0F by Thursday in Stuttgart. Normally doesn´t get that cold even in a bad year.
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I avoid the FAUX reality of Fla. and Virginia,, exclusively,
Thanx
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Quoting Patrap:
The programming runs deep in these ones, Luke.


Those who RH-, beware these guy's.


Dude, come back to reality... the water's warmer here. (lol yes that is an intended pun)
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Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog


The most respected entry on the Internet, by far.

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The programming runs deep in these ones, Luke.


Those who are RH-, beware these guy's.
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Quoting BeCoolOrBeCastOut:
I thought it was interesting that there so many anti-American globalists here who agreed that a "world court" that would supercede U.S. sovereignty is a good idea, fruitcake might have been a little over the line, but I agree with the sentiment.



The name of the blog tells all you need to know.
Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the righties at least two to one.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
From what my brother, who lived there for about a  year and a half has told me, Alaskans are pretty savvy when it comes to energy usage.  Have to be, it doesn't come cheep.  They may get to watch it pumped and spilled but since they have no refineries have to bring usable stuff from some where else at a premium for transport.  Look at the Nome story from this year.
Quoting wxmod:
How much oil does it take to keep people alive in that climate? I bet people heat their houses and run a refrigerator inside too.

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Quoting Patrap:
This Era is ended.

When they try the Trojan Horse thing in March,

Ignore it, it's a ruse to try to keep the veil in Place.



Trojan Horse?

Did I miss something?
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Minnemike:
i've seen you bake a pretty wacky cake too... tread lightly on the judgments perhaps?



Says you.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
This Era is ended.

When they try the Trojan Horse thing in March,

Ignore it, it's a ruse to try to keep the veil in Place.

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.