October 2014 Statewide Summary

Alaska Statewide Climate Summary

October 2014

 

Temperature

 

October 2014 temperatures were marginally above normal across the state, with eleven of the First Order Stations reporting positive deviations. Calculating the mean daily temperatures of the 19 First Order Stations (see Figure), 20 days of the month were above the 30-year normal. The only significant cold spells were the week starting the 4th, and the last three days of the month. The peak deviation (-5.7°F) occurred on the 8th. The monthly mean temperature of all First Order Stations was 32.3°F, merely 0.3°F above the normal of 32.0°F. This is 7.6°F below the October of 2013 mean of 39.9°F. Barrow held the greatest positive deviation from normal for October at a significant 4.1°F above its long-term mean of 17.2°F. Stations following Homer with positive deviations equal to or exceeding 2°F were: Annette (2.9°F), Bettles (2.7°F), and Kotzebue (2.4°F). Gulkana was the station with the greatest negative deviation of ‑4.2°F. It was followed by Delta Junction (-2.4°F) and Bethel (‑2.0°F) as stations with deviations at or in excess of -2°F.

 

The warmest temperature reported for the First Order Stations was 60°F at Annette on the 5th, and Annette also reported the highest mean temperature for the month at 49.6°F. The coldest temperature was -11°F at Bettles on the 29th. Barrow reported the lowest October mean temperature at 21.3°F.

 

Station

Temperature

Observed
(°F)

Normal
(°F)

Delta
(°F)

Anchorage

33.4

34.8

-1.4

Annette

49.6

46.7

2.9

Barrow

21.3

17.2

4.1

Bethel

28.3

30.3

-2.0

Bettles

21.6

18.9

2.7

Cold Bay

40.2

40.4

-0.2

Delta Junction

21.7

24.1

-2.4

Fairbanks

25.2

24.2

1.0

Gulkana

22.4

26.6

-4.2

Homer

39.7

38.1

1.6

Juneau

43.8

42.4

1.4

King Salmon

32.0

33.5

-1.5

Kodiak

39.6

40.5

-0.9

Kotzebue

26.7

24.3

2.4

McGrath

26.2

25.1

1.1

Nome

29.1

28.7

0.4

St. Paul Island

38.8

38.6

0.2

Talkeetna

31.6

33.2

-1.6

Yakutat

41.7

41.0

0.7

 

 

 

 Description: First Order Temperature

Daily mean temperature deviation from the normal temperature for the mean of the first order stations for October 2014.

 

A very limited number of extreme temperature events where noted in October. St. Paul continued its string of high events from August and September at the start of the month, while Kodiak had two low events back-to-back on the 7th and 8th.

 

 

Temperature Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

10/02/14

St. Paul

High Temperature

52

51

1981

10/03/14

St. Paul

High Temperature

50

50

2004

10/07/14

Kodiak

Low Temperature

24

27

1982

10/08/14

Kodiak

Low Temperature

25

25

2007

10/17/14

Juneau

High Temperature

54

53

1980

10/19/14

Yakutat

High Temperature

56

55

1953

 

 

Precipitation

 

October was a notably dry month, with the overall precipitation calculated as 25% below normal; this calculation was based on the mean of the deviations in percentage of the First Order Stations. Fifteen of the First Order Stations and 21 days of the month reported below normal values. This is in contrast to the wet October in 2013 that had 50% more precipitation than normal. The greatest daily deviation of 107% occurred on the 3rd. On a monthly basis, Barrow had the greatest positive deviation from normal, with a total of 1.02", or 149% above the expected amount of 0.41". The only other station with a greater than 100% deviation was Gulkana with 119%. Leading the stations with lower than normal precipitation totals was McGrath with just 14% of normal. Other stations with less than a third of their normal precipitation were: King Salmon (18%) and Talkeetna (28%).

 

Station

Precipitation

Observed
(in)

Normal
(in)

Delta
(in)

Delta
(%)

(%)

Anchorage

1.29

2.03

-0.74

-36%

64%

Annette

14.39

13.92

0.47

3%

103%

Barrow

1.02

0.41

0.61

149%

249%

Bethel

2.09

1.65

0.44

27%

127%

Bettles

0.39

1.04

-0.65

-63%

38%

Cold Bay

2.08

4.76

-2.68

-56%

44%

Delta Junction

0.52

0.80

-0.28

-35%

65%

Fairbanks

0.44

0.83

-0.39

-47%

53%

Gulkana

2.21

1.01

1.20

119%

219%

Homer

1.18

2.57

-1.39

-54%

46%

Juneau

7.46

8.63

-1.17

-14%

86%

King Salmon

0.38

2.08

-1.70

-82%

18%

Kodiak

5.90

8.26

-2.36

-29%

71%

Kotzebue

0.43

1.01

-0.58

-57%

43%

McGrath

0.20

1.44

-1.24

-86%

14%

Nome

0.63

1.61

-0.98

-61%

39%

St. Paul Island

1.58

3.11

-1.53

-49%

51%

Talkeetna

0.80

2.90

-2.10

-72%

28%

Yakutat

14.91

21.98

-7.07

-32%

68%

 

 

Description: First Order Precipitation

Daily mean precipitation deviation from the normal for the first order stations for October 2014.

 

 

The maximum monthly precipitation total reported for the First Order Stations was 14.91" at Yakutat; Kodiak reported the highest daily total of 3.27" on the 9th. The highest one-day snowfall occurred at Nome on the 23rd with 3.6Ó. Barrow reported the highest monthly snowfall of 13.3", and Barrow also reported the highest snow depth at 5Ó.

 

Like the temperature events, there were a very limited number of precipitation record events in October. Table below lists the six noted events.

 

 

Precipitation Records

Date

Station

Element

New
Record

Old
Record

Year of
old Record

10/04/14

Fairbanks

Snowfall

2.80

2.20

1971

10/10/14

Port Alexander

Precipitation

2.05

2.00

2010

10/10/14

Yakutat

Precipitation

2.96

2.28

1952

10/11/14

Craig

Precipitation

1.26

0.83

1951

10/23/14

Nome

Snowfall

3.60

2.30

1987

10/27/14

Bethel

Precipitation

1.16

0.76

1972

 

 

Description: Figure 5

This VIIRS satellite image from the SSEC RealEarth shows glacier silt being blown out of the Copper River Valley on October 28th, 2014. The winds pushing the silt out over the Gulf of Alaska were very localized to the valley. (CIMSS Blog)

 

 

Newsworthy Events

 

 

October started off with an early winter storm dropping snowfall in the Interior areas, with up to 4.5Ó on the Nenana Ridge on the 3rd and 4th. Blizzard warnings were issued for the southeastern Brooks Range and eastern Beaufort Sea Coast on the 6th. Road conditions were bad enough in the Fairbanks area on the 6th that travel advisories were issued. Blizzard conditions were reposted for the Dalton Highway on the 9th with winds up to 35 mph and snowdrifts across the northern portion of the highway. The problems persisted in the area into the next day and caused a truck to crash and catch fire on the Dalton Highway. High winds also affected the Steese Highway at Eagle Summit. The poor conditions resulted in travel warnings for central and eastern Interior for the weekend of the 11th.

 

Seasonal road maintenance for the Taylor and Denali Highways ended on the 15th. Anchorage had its first measureable snowfall on the 19th, with 0.6Ó recorded at the National Weather Service Office. Totals up to 7Ó were noted in Hillside areas by the midday on the 20th. Fairbanks issued its first air quality alert of the winter on the 29th.

 

This information consists of preliminary climatological data compiled by the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information on weather and climatology, contact the center at 907-474-7885 or visit the center web site at http://akclimate.org. Please report any errors to webmaster@akclimate.org. This summary is based on the 19 first order stations in Alaska operated by the National Weather Service. Extreme events of other stations are also mentioned.