Fairbanks, Alaska Sees Its Snowiest September Day in 23 Years
While much of the United States basks in an unseasonably warm start to fall, one part of the country got snow – and a lot of it – on Friday.
Fairbanks, Alaska got dumped with 6.7″ of snow on Friday, the city’s heaviest September snowfall since 1992 and well above the city’s monthly average of 1.8″. The snowfall obliterated Fairbanks’ old September 25th previous record of 0.8″, set back in 1996. Fairbanks’ average first measurable snowfall comes on October 1st, making Friday’s event just slightly ahead of schedule, although the high snow totals were unusual. The 6.7″ at Fairbanks International Airport is the third-highest September daily snowfall on record.
Two spotters north of Fairbanks recorded 9″ of snowfall. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported several car accidents on Friday as a result of the snowfall, which may change to rain this weekend in the area.
While Fairbanks, located in Alaska’s harsh interior, is known for its bitter cold, heavy snow is not as common as you might think in Alaska’s second-largest city. Fairbanks averages 65″ of snow a year, slightly more than Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota, but far less than snow-heavy cities such as Buffalo, New York and Duluth, Minnesota. Cold air can hold less moisture, making Fairbanks typically dry during its harsh winters, when high temperatures average just 1° during the month of January, and overnight lows can dip as far as -60°.
While no significant snow is expected, more snow showers are possible on Saturday as temperatures warm, with a change to rain possible Sunday and Monday and highs returning to the upper 40s and low 50s.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi