It’s not common that a high temperature of 31° would smash records, but in northern Alaska, that’s almost unheard of this time of the year.
In Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, temperatures hit 31° on Tuesday morning, breaking a daily record by a full 7°. It was Utqiagvik’s warmest February temperature since 2006, and tied the fourth-warmest February temperature on record. To put that into perspective, Utqiagvik’s average high on February 20th is just 8 degrees…below zero!
Further south in Fairbanks, temperatures rocked up to 33° and Nome reached 30°, both of which are way above seasonal averages for mid-February.
A massive ridge of high pressure is drawing up plenty of warm air, enough warmth to make Utqiagvik warmer than much of the western half of the lower 48 on Tuesday afternoon.
This contributed to the Bering Sea, which lies off the west coast of Alaska, to lose a third of its sea ice in just eight days.
The forecast keeps warm weather around through Thursday, but colder, more seasonable weather returns Friday and Saturday, with light snow possible as well.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Featured image: Courtesy of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks