Even for bitterly cold Alaskan standards, the start of spring has been un-springlike.
Fairbanks, Alaska greeted spring on Monday morning with a temperature of… -12°.
It’s all part of what’s been an absolutely frigid March so far for the 49th state, with temperatures consistently running 10 to 20 degrees below average, if not more. Fairbanks’ average March temperature of -9.6° through Sunday is a shocking 17.5° below average, with the mercury dropping as low as -39° so far this month. Nome and McGrath, Alaska, both in the central/northern portion of the state, are also more than 10 degrees below average so far this month.
Anchorage has been stuck in a bitterly cold pattern, with the average March temperature (through Sunday) at just 15.9°, a full nine degrees below average. Also through Sunday, the temperature in Anchorage hadn’t risen above the freezing mark, a particularly rare feat in a city where the average March high temperature is 35°.
Along the milder Alaskan panhandle further south, meanwhile, big snow has been the big story. The Alaskan state capital of Juneau has seen more than 30″ of snowfall so far in March, more than doubling its typical monthly total. Official climate sites on Annette Island and in Yakutat are also reporting way above average snowfall so far in March as well, mostly the product of potent storm systems running into some of the late season cold.
There’s little relief in site from this pattern, also. Temperatures are expected to stay well below freezing both in Anchorage and Alaska’s colder interior for the week ahead.
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For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi