Map of Bethel area
Bethel station history
Bethel temperature history (uncorrected)

Map of Bethel Area

There will be a map here someday

Selection from USGS Bethel D-8 quadrangle map, 1954 with 1985 updates. Current location of climate data is near Municipal airport runway; earlier locations in town and at old airport faintly visible at lower right of map. Squares are sections, 1 mile on a side; elevations in feet.

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Bethel Station History

Located at mouth of Kuskokwim river. Current coordinates 60 degrees 47' N, 161 degrees 48' W, elevation 125 feet. Located on relatively high ground (see contours on map) in otherwise flat, rather swampy Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. Record runs 8/21/23 through present; first order station with regular atmospheric soundings.

Initial location Alaska Communications System Office, no record of instruments or exact location. 10/1/40 moved 1 mile SSW to Bethel Community Hall (60 degrees 48' N, 161 degrees 45' W), temperature instruments at 6 feet, elevation still uncertain. 9/5/42 moved 2.0 miles E, to Control Building, CAA field, 10 feet elevation (60 degrees 47' N, 161 degrees 43' W), thermometers raised to 7 feet but dropped back to 6 feet 2/21/53. 11/7/58 moved 3.5 miles W and up 115 feet to current coordinates. Temperature instruments moved unknown distance 9/30/60. Instrument change with installation of HO6 series hygrothermometer 8/18/77 at height 3 feet above ground. Hygrothermometer upgraded to HO8 series 10/10/85.

Observation time unknown prior to 1940 move, midnight thereafter.

Observer USWS throughout.

Length of record fairly good, starting 1923. Data completeness exceptional, with no missing data since establishment of station. Site continuity questionable, especially 1958 move from near river level to higher ground. Time of observation consistent at midnight after 1940, unknown earlier. Aside from instrument changes, record looks consistent from 1958.

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Bethel Temperature History

Plot of Bethel mean annual temperatures

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Geophysical InstituteInt'l Arctic Research Center