Map of Attu Island
Attu station history
Attu temperature history

Map of Attu Island

East end of Attu Island. From USGS Attu map sheet, 1953 with limited revisions 1983. Squares are townships, 6 miles on a side; elevations in feet. Station coordinates correspond to Military Airport area.

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Attu Station History

Attu Island is the westernmost of the U.S. Aleutians, actually located in the eastern hemisphere. It is considerably larger and more rugged than Shemya. Current coordinates 52 degrees 50' N, 173 degrees 11' E, elevation 70 feet. Observations were first taken 1917 - 1921, and some monthly average temperatures recorded at 3 feet height at a ground elevation of 16 feet survive from that period. Station was reopened 7/1/38 with thermometers at 5 feet height and moved slightly northwest and 1 foot uphill 9/21/41. No data after 3/31/42 during WWII. Attu was occupied by the Japanese in June 1942 and liberated in May 1943, but the climatological station did not resume operations (under the U.S. Navy) until 7/1/46. This resumption coincided with a move of unknown distance and direction to a new elevation of 59 feet. Instrument heights are unknown. The station made another unknown move, to 70 feet elevation, thermometers at 5 feet, and US Coast Guard operation, 1/7/61. The station was closed 11/1/78 and reopened 6/1/79.

Observation time 1917 - 1921 is shown as 8 am (presumed valid for both temperature and precip). From 1938 to WWII closure observations were made at 5 pm. Navy observations were made at midnight. From 1/7/61 to 3/1/74 observations were at 4 pm, then at 11 am 3/1/74 - 11/1/74, then 4 pm 11/1/74 - 5/1/76 and 10 pm 5/1/76 - 11/1/78. Since reopening 6/1/79 observations were at 5 pm until 11/12/86 and 4 pm from then to the present.

Observer US Coast Guard.

Record length good, data continuity poor, site continuity difficult to document.

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Attu Temperature History

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Geophysical InstituteInt'l Arctic Research Center