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Coldest Winter since 1998-1999 Grips Alaska

7 Mar 2020, 1:11 pm

Alaska just experienced its coldest meteorological winter (December, January, February) in 21 years.

It will also go down as the 22nd coldest winter in the 96-year period of record, putting it in the coldest 25% of winters for the state as a whole. The interior and north slope were the primary drivers of the big chill.

Fairbanks plunged below -30°F on 33 days, which was the most since 1999. The high temperatures failed to even hit 0°F on 51 separate days, which was the most since 1974!

February was notably cold in northern Alaska, which contributed to the overall statistics. Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) had an average monthly temperature of -26.1°F in the month of February, which was nearly 12° below the long term average. The mercury dropped to or below -40° on 7 separate occasions during the month, which was the most in any month since January of 1989.

All of this cold came after Alaska had its warmest year statewide in 2019.


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