February 2014 Statewide Summary

Alaska Statewide Climate Summary

February 2014

 

Temperature

 

February temperatures were mixed both across the state, and during the month with nine of the 20 First Order Stations reporting positive deviations, and eleven recording negative deviations. The month started out continuing the warmer than normal temperatures from January. After the first week temperatures turned to below normal for two weeks, then returned to above normal for the final week of the month. The peak deviation (-14.1°F) occurred on the 12th. The monthly mean temperature for all 20 First Order Stations was 14.1°F, just 0.9°F below the normal of 15.0°F. This is 10.5°F below January of 2014 mean of 24.6°F. It is interesting to note that all 20 first order stations reported colder mean temperatures for February then for January, some decidedly so. Gulkana was 27.1°F colder for February than January. Gulkana also held the greatest negative deviation from normal for February at a significant 14.0°F below its long-term mean of 5.5°F. Stations following Gulkana with negative deviations exceeding 6°F: Annette (-7.2°F), Juneau (-6.2°F) and Yakutat (-6.2°F), all Southeast stations. Stations with positive deviations from normal that were greater than 6.0°F: Barrow (7.2°), Nome (6.2°F) and Kotzebue (6.1°F). It is worth noting that these stations were located in the Northwestern and Arctic portions of Alaska.

 

The warmest temperature reported for the 20 First Order Stations was 51°F at Kodiak on the 28th, which ties the daily record. The coldest temperature was -36°F at Barrow on the 19th and 20th, occurring during the cold snap. Kodiak and Annette both reported the highest mean temperature for the month at 30.5°F, while Gulkana reported the coldest at -8.5°F.

 

Station

Temperature

Observed
(°F)

Normal
(°F)

Delta
(°F)

Anchorage

18.6

20.2

-1.6

Annette

30.5

37.7

-7.2

Barrow

-7.0

-14.2

7.2

Bethel

15.9

11.1

4.8

Bettles

-5.8

-5.0

-0.8

Cold Bay

30.5

29.0

1.5

Delta Junction

1.2

4.9

-3.7

Fairbanks

-4.4

-1.3

-3.1

Gulkana

-8.5

5.5

-14.0

Homer

26.6

26.2

0.4

Juneau

23.9

30.1

-6.2

King Salmon

22.5

18.8

3.7

Kodiak

30.0

30.8

-0.8

Kotzebue

5.3

-0.8

6.1

McGrath

3.1

1.4

1.7

Nome

13.6

7.4

6.2

St. Paul Island

25.4

24.4

1.0

Talkeetna

16.6

18.1

-1.5

Valdez

21.2

26.0

-4.8

Yakutat

23.5

29.7

-6.2

 

 

 


Daily mean temperature deviation from the normal temperature for the mean of the 20 first order stations for February 2014.

 

A fair number of daily temperature record events were recorded in February, about evenly split between high and low events. The low events were located in the southeastern portion of the state. The four record low events in Annette resulted in the coldest February 6th to 9th ever for Annette, breaking the old record for these dates from 1989. High winds of 71 mph and a temperature of -42°F at Howard Pass in the western Brooks Range on the 14th resulted in a wind chill of -97°F, a new record, breaking the ‑96°F set in Prudhoe Bay on January 28, 1989.

 

 

 

Temperature Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

02/01/14

Barrow

High Temperature

26

25

1948

02/04/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

46

45

1985

02/05/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

46

44

1957

02/05/14

Craig

Low Temperature

20

23

1951

02/06/14

Annette

Low Temperature

13

15

1989

02/06/14

Craig

Low Temperature

17

19

1951

02/07/14

Annette

Low Temperature

11

12

1949

02/07/14

Craig

Low Temperature

15

22

1951

02/08/14

Annette

Low Temperature

13

13

1989

02/08/14

Cold Bay

High Temperature

42

42

2003

02/08/14

Craig

Low Temperature

15

15

2008

02/09/14

Annette

Low Temperature

10

14

1989

02/09/14

Craig

Low Temperature

16

16

2008

02/23/14

King Salmon

High Temperature

45

45

1993

02/26/14

Homer

High Temperature

47

47

1970

02/26/14

Kodiak

High Temperature

51

51

1962

02/26/14

Kotzebue

High Temperature

31

31

1981

02/27/14

Anchorage

High Temperature

49

48

1968

02/27/14

Bethel

High Temperature

46

45

1991

02/27/14

Kotzebue

High Temperature

34

33

1995

 

 

Precipitation

 

Precipitation for February was very low at just 62% of normal, with only four of the 20 First Order Stations and five days of the month reporting above normal values. The greatest daily deviation of 115% occurred on the 15th. Cold Bay had the greatest positive deviation from normal, with a total of 4.12", or 38% above the expected amount of 2.98". This high deviation was aided by a new daily precipitation record set on the 21st. Following Cold Bay with deviations at or above 100% of normal were: Barrow (136%), Gulkana (131%) and Kodiak (113%). Leading the stations with lower than normal precipitation was Talkeetna with just 6%, and King Salmon with just 8% of normal.

 

Station

Precipitation

Observed
(in)

Normal
(in)

Delta
(in)

Delta
(%)

(%)

Anchorage

0.56

0.72

-0.16

-22%

78%

Annette

3.97

7.31

-3.34

-46%

54%

Barrow

0.19

0.14

0.05

36%

136%

Bethel

0.41

0.72

-0.31

-43%

57%

Bettles

0.29

0.85

-0.56

-66%

34%

Cold Bay

4.12

2.98

1.14

38%

138%

Delta Junction

0.24

0.28

-0.04

-14%

86%

Fairbanks

0.40

0.42

-0.02

-5%

95%

Gulkana

0.67

0.51

0.16

31%

131%

Homer

1.01

1.71

-0.70

-41%

59%

Juneau

1.98

4.13

-2.15

-52%

48%

King Salmon

0.06

0.76

-0.70

-92%

8%

Kodiak

6.95

6.14

0.81

13%

113%

Kotzebue

0.17

0.66

-0.49

-74%

26%

McGrath

0.09

0.94

-0.85

-90%

10%

Nome

0.60

0.93

-0.33

-35%

65%

St. Paul Island

0.92

1.30

-0.38

-29%

71%

Talkeetna

0.08

1.45

-1.37

-94%

6%

Valdez

0.78

5.79

-5.01

-87%

13%

Yakutat

2.08

10.86

-8.78

-81%

19%

 

 

Description: First Order Precipitation

Daily mean precipitation deviation from the normal for the 20 first order stations for February 2014.

 

 

Snowfall was below normal (71%) for 16 stations that report snowfall. Thirteen of these stations reported below normal values with Bethel reporting the relatively lowest value at just 6% of normal. Annette topped the stations with positive deviations at 208% of normal.

 

Station

Snowfall

Observed
(in)

Normal
(in)

Delta
(in)

Delta
(%)

(%)

Anchorage

9.9

10.9

-1.0

-9%

91%

Annette

15.0

7.2

7.8

108%

208%

Barrow

2.2

2.6

-0.4

-15%

85%

Bethel

0.4

6.9

-6.5

-94%

6%

Bettles

4.8

14.0

-9.2

-66%

34%

Cold Bay

13.2

12.9

0.3

2%

102%

Fairbanks

7.1

8.1

-1.0

-12%

88%

Juneau

26.8

16.8

10.0

60%

160%

King Salmon

1.3

6.0

-4.7

-78%

22%

Kodiak

7.0

15.1

-8.1

-54%

46%

Kotzebue

1.2

9.6

-8.4

-88%

13%

McGrath

0.8

13.1

-12.3

-94%

6%

Nome

9.1

12.2

-3.1

-25%

75%

St. Paul Island

7.9

10.0

-2.1

-21%

79%

Valdez

13.4

61.3

-47.9

-78%

22%

Yakutat

28.1

28.6

-0.5

-2%

98%

 

 

The maximum monthly precipitation total reported for the 20 First Order Stations was 6.95" at Kodiak, which also reported the highest daily total of 2.51" on the 26th, a new daily record. The highest one-day snowfall occurred at Yakutat on the 13th with 10.2", while Yakutat also reported the highest monthly snowfall of 28.1". Valdez topped the stations for the deepest snowpack of 42" on the 19th.

 

Due to the overall low precipitation for February, there were only two daily precipitation records. Snowfall records outnumbered precipitation records three to one, an unusual situation. King Salmon's total of 0.08" is a new monthly low, breaking the 1973 record of 0.11".  

 

 

 

Precipitation Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

02/06/14

Fairbanks

Snowfall

4.30

2.90

1971

02/09/14

Annette

Snowfall

3.10

2.50

1999

02/09/14

Craig

Snowfall

1.20

0.80

2009

02/10/14

Craig

Snowfall

2.20

0.00

2009

02/20/14

St. Paul

Snowfall

2.50

2.20

1964

02/21/14

Cold Bay

Precipitation

1.86

0.95

2002

02/26/14

Kodiak

Precipitation

2.51

1.17

1968

02/26/14

St. Paul

Snowfall

2.30

1.40

1996

 

 

 

 

Description: 4gvf-1

This infrared satellite image from the National Weather Service shows weather pattern affecting the Southcentral portions of Alaska on February 18th, 2014. The storm resulted in snowfall across the region.

 

 

Newsworthy Events

 

The biggest weather story of the January concluded in February with the clearing of the ‘Damalanche’ outside of Valdez on the 5th. Winds blowing dust and silt generated air quality warnings for Matanuska Valley on the 4th. Winds up to 73 mph were measured in Wasilla on the 7th. Also on the 7th red flag fire warnings were issued for the Matanuska Valley and western Kenai Peninsula due to high winds and low humidity. Further, on the 7th, three refuges in Matanuska-Susitna were closed to snow machines due to low snowpack. The high winds (up to 63 mph at Palmer airport) returned to the Mat-Su area on the 10th and spread a structure fire to the nearby trees and grass not covered by snow. No evacuations were necessary.

 

Blizzard warnings were published on the 6th for Western Prince William Sound. The Steese Highway was closed due to drifting snow on the 13th, while travel advisories were issued for portions of the Dalton and Elliot highways. This was repeated again for all three highways on the 16th. A nice snowfall in Anchorage around the 18th put a good blanket of snow on the ground Fur Rondy. Air quality alerts were put out for North Pole on the 22nd, and continued on and off through the rest of the month.

 

 

This information consists of preliminary climatological data compiled by the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. This summary is based on the 20 first order stations in Alaska operated by the National Weather Service. Extreme events of other stations are also mentioned. It should be noted that the new climate normals for the time period of 1981-2010 are applied for the calculations of the deviations, and they can be slightly different from the old normals (1971-2000), which were in use up until end of August 2011.