South Coast Region

The south coast region is the most maritime part of the mainland, as opposed to the island chain that makes up southwestern Alaska or the archipelago of the southeast. Of the five stations with long records in this part of Alaska, Kodiak is located on an exposed island, Seward and Valdez are on tidewater in somewhat protected fjords, and Cordova and Yakutat are on glacial outwash plains directly exposed to the Gulf of Alaska.

The five stations vary in length and quality of record. As can be seen, Valdez, the most protected of the group, was initially considerably colder than the average. The change after 1964 can be attributed to the fact that the entire town of Valdez was moved after the 1964 earthquake. The weather observation move was more complex, but there is little question that the earthquake created a major inhomogeneity in the Valdez record.

Because of this very obvious shift relative to the rest of the region, Valdez was not included in the adjusted regional temperature plot below, which is adjusted for stations dropping in and out of the net, but not for site or observation time errors.

Last updated March 13, 1996

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Geophysical InstituteInt'l Arctic Research Center