Map of Yakutat area
Yakutat station history
Yakutat temperature history

Map of Yakutat

Yakutat area, from USGS Yakutat map sheet, 1959 with limited revisions 1982. Squares are townships, 6 miles on a side; elevations in feet.

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Yakutat Station History

The current coordinates for Yakutat are 59 degrees 31' N, 139 degrees 40' W, elevation 28 feet. The station is located at the ocean side of an outwash plain roughly 15 miles wide between the glaciated St. Elias Mountains and the Gulf of Alaska, just east of Yakutat Bay. The Malaspina Glacier and its surrounding ice-rich morraine reach almost to tiedwater west of the bay. The town itself fronts on a sheltered cove in Yakutat Bay; the airport, located several miles ESE of the town, is directly adjacent to the open Gulf of Alaska.

The initial station location was at 59 degrees 33' N 139 degrees 44' W, elevation 5 feet, instruments at 4', at the observer's home in Old Village. On August 5, 1929, the station moved 0.7 miles east and 3 feet uphill to the new observer''s home in the new village. Then in June 14, 1933, the station was moved 0.7 miles west and 3 feet downhill to the Post Office in the old village. On May 17, 1936 the Post Office itself moved 0.7 miles east and 3' uphill to the new village, and the station moved with it. On February 1, 1941, the station moved 1 mile south and 2 feet uphill to the control quarters in the CAA Utilities buliding, and additional instruments were added. Shortly thereafter, sometime in October 1941, the station was moved again, this time 2.5 miles ESE to Yakutat Air Base at an elevation of 28 feet. This was the last substantial move, though Yakutat Air Base was apparently turned into a State airport August 1, 1948, at which time the temperature instrument was raised to 12 feet. An HO6 series hygrothermometer was comissioned 1620 feet east of the old thermometer site and the height was lowered to 6 feet September 1, 1964. In June or July 1972 (LCD and coded data disagree) the thermometer was raised to 8 feet, though at this site in summer, the difference is unliely to be significant. There was a move 0.3 miles NW to the NWS apartment complex October 26, 1974, and a change to a HY8 hygrothermometer September 27, 1985.

Observation time was originally 5 pm. It was unknown from August 5, 1929 to June 14, 1933, and then switched to 11 am through May 17, 1936. At that time observations returned to 5 pm. The move to the CAA building in February 1941 coincided with a change to a 10 am observation time, so maximum temperatures are likely unreliable during much of 1941. After the move to the air base in October 1941 observation time was 10 pm until the FAA took over August 1, 1948, at which time it shifted to midnight. There was no change at this station due to the 1983 time zone change; Yakutat is the only station in Alaska that was already on 135 WMT before the change.

Station length good. Site continuity marginal before early 40's, reasonably good thereafter. This is an upper air station, and hourly temperatures are available for recent years.
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Yakutat Temperature History

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Geophysical InstituteInt'l Arctic Research Center