In Fairbanks the average temperature was -26.9°F, a very substantial -19.0°F below the long term mean for January. The high temperature for the month was 21°F on the 10thJanuary, while the lowest temperature was a frigid -51°F observed on the 29thof the month. For most of the month the temperatures were below normal, temperatures more commonly observed back in the 1960's. On 16 days of the month the temperature dropped to -40°F or below. For the month, January 2012 was the fifth coldest January on record. This continues the trend of the last decade, which has demonstrated some cooling, especially in winter. Despite the far below normal temperatures, no new temperature records were observed.
Precipitation in January was 0.69" water-equivalent, somewhat above the normal value of 0.58". Snowfall was also close to the normal of 10.3" with 9.6", and on 16 days of the month at least some snowfall was observed. Wind speed averaged a low 2.3 mph, typical for winter in Interior Alaska where the surface temperature inversion hinders the wind aloft to reach the surface. The highest gust was 23 mph on the 22nd.
Anchorage recorded an average temperature of 2.5°F, strongly below the normal of 17.1°F. The maximum temperature of the month occurred on the 11thwith 38°F, while a minimum temperature of -13°F was observed on the 29th. The observed temperatures were below normal for most of the month (with the exception of a warm spell around the 10thof January), and resulted in the fourth coldest January on record no new daily records were set.
Precipitation was reported at 1.31", which is 79% above the normal value. On 19 days of the month at least some snow was reported, and the monthly mean cloudiness was 60%. The average monthly wind speed was calculated as 5.4 mph.
Barrow reported an average temperature in January of -20.6°F, a strong -7.2°F below normal. The maximum temperature occurred on the 18thwith 7°F, and the lowest temperature of -45°F was observed on 23rd, 30thand 31st. In general, the temperatures during the most of the month were below normal, particularly pronounced for the last 10 days. No new temperature records were recorded during January.
Precipitation in Barrow totaled 0.20", a low value typical for the North Slope. It was nevertheless 0.07" above normal. 5.8" of snow fell, twice the normal of 2.6". The mean monthly wind speed was 10.5 mph and a gust of 38 mph occurred on the 5th, blowing from a northeasterly direction.
Big Delta reported a mean temperature of -21.4°F in January 2012, which is a very substantial 20.4°F below the long-term mean temperature. The high temperature of the month was observed on the 11that 14°F, while the low temperatures occurred on the 29thwith -50°F. In general, the daily temperature trace is similar to Fairbanks, however, extreme low temperature occurred less frequently, and only on 6 days were temperatures of -40°F or below recorded. As the Alaska Range is much closer to Big Delta than to Fairbanks, wind speeds are higher, and somewhat more mixing with the warmer air above occurs, weakening the surface temperature inversion. No new temperature records were observed.
Precipitation for the month measured as 0.48" water-equivalent and on the 6thof January 0.18" was recorded. This is a new record for this particular day, surpassing the old record of 0.12" of 1955.
In Juneau , the average temperature was 26.9°F, somewhat (1.4°F) below normal for January. The maximum temperatures for the month (42°F) occurred on the 7thand 8thand the minimum temperature of 2°F occurred on the 17th.
Precipitation totaled 6.43", which is 1.08" above normal. The snowfall total was 48.6", nearly twice the normal of 27.7", and the highest daily snowfall occurred on the 25thwith 6.8". The maximum snow depth at the airport was measured at 20" on the 30th. Two daily precipitation records were broken. On the 17th, 1.08" of water-equivalent were reported, just breaking the old record of 1.01" set in 1986. In addition, on the 29th, 6.3" of snow fell, replacing the old record of 6.0" set in 1954. As might be deduced from the high precipitation amount in Southeast Alaska, sky cover was high, with just 6 clear days, 1 partly cloudy day and 24 cloudy days. Average wind speed at Juneau Airport was 10.5 mph with a highest wind gust of a substantial 54 mph on the 7th.
Ketchikan's average temperature of 32.0°F in January was 2.9°F below the long-term mean. Compared with most of the rest of Alaska, this is a relatively small deviation, as Alaska was, across the whole state, significantly below normal for January. The highest temperature of the month measured 49°F on the 4th, while the low temperature of -2°F occurred on the 19thof the month. Worth noting was the short but deep cold spell shortly after the middle of the month. This included a new record low temperature on the 19that -2°F, a substantial 7°F below the previous record of 5°F that had been set in 1972.
Monthly precipitation was measured at 22.26", 45% above the expected amount of 15.40". Notable events occurred on the 1stand the 7thof January, with 2.32" and 2.35" of precipitation, respectively.
King Salmon reported an average temperature of -6.7°F, far (-22.9°F) below to the long-term mean of 16.2°F. The high temperature for January was 37°F, recorded on the 10thof January while the low temperature of a chilly -40°F occurred on the 27th. New record low temperatures were set on the 12thof January, with a temperature of ‑35°F. The old record low of -29°F for this particular day was set in 1951. On the 25th, a minimum of -37°F was measured, replacing the old minimum of -32°F, which had occurred in 2006. The following day the temperature dropped to -39°F, replacing the old minimum of -34°F set in 1989.
The precipitation total was measured as 1.12", 10% above the normal of 1.02". Accordingly, the observed snowfall was slightly above the long-term average. On the 10thof January, 0.72" of precipitation were recorded, which is a new record for this day. It more than doubled the old record of 0.26", which had been set in 1957. Further, the snowfall for this day was 4.2", doubling the old record of 2.1" set in 1986. Average wind speed was 9.9 mph and the highest gust was recorded at 43 mph on the 10th, blowing from an easterly direction.
Kodiak's average temperature of 21.4°F in January was 9.1°F below the long-term mean. This is a substantial deviation, but comparable with most of the rest of Alaska for the month. It is also the third coldest January ever measured in Kodiak. The highest temperature measured 50°F on the 10th, while the low temperature of -5°F occurred both on the 23rdand on the 27thof the month. Remarkable were the strong temperature variation, with new daily maxima around the 10thand new daily minima around the 25thof the month. The maximum of 50°F on the 10thbroke the old maximum of 49°F set in 1937. Then the low of -5°F on the 23rdwas a tie for record low set back in 1947. A second minimum tie of -2°F occurred on the 26thmatching the temperature set back in 1944. On the 27tha temperature of -5°F was recorded, a new record minimum for this day. The previous record low was ‑4°F set in 1989
Monthly precipitation was measured at 4.72", substantially below the expected amount of 8.29". The snowfall on the 17thmeasured as 5.3", and 5.1" more fell on the following day. These are new records. The old record for the 17thhad been 4.0", set in 1976, and for the 18th, 4.4", set in 1988. The monthly amount of snowfall set a new record with 53.4", surpassing the old record of 40.4" set in 2004.
Nome reported a mean monthly temperature in January of -16.6°F, an extremely strong deviation of -21.8°F from the long term mean and making this the coldest January on record. The warmest monthly temperature was 21°F observed both on the 19thand 20thof January, while the coldest temperature on the 5thwith an unpleasant -40°F. New temperature minima were set on the 3rdof January, with a minimum of -37°F, surpassing the old minimum of -34°F, which was observed in 1949. The following day, the temperature dropped to -38°F, replacing the old record low of -34°F set in 1917. On the 5thJanuary, a low temperature of -40°F was reported, which matched the low temperature for this day set back in 1917. On the 12thJanuary, the minimum was ‑33°F, surpassing the old minimum of -32°F, which had been set in 1973. Finally, on the following day, the temperature dropped to -34°F, surpassing the old record of -32°F, also set in 1973. With the exception of few days during the middle of the month, the whole month was below normal.
Precipitation was very light, totaling 0.19", representing only 20% of the expected amount. The average wind speed for the month was light with 4.4 mph, and the highest gust observed was 54 mph on the 21st, blowing from a northerly direction.