Anchorage colder than Utqiagvik Monday morning

Bold Peak is reflected in Eklutna Lake in November 2017. (Courtesy Frank Baker)
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage and the rest of Southcentral Alaska saw colder temperatures Monday morning than the state’s northernmost city of Utqiagvik.

Single-digits were recorded around Anchorage in the morning hours, and the Merrill Field weather station only hit 10 degrees or higher consistently starting after 5:30 a.m., while Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, was sitting at 28 degrees F at the same time.

The warm temperatures come as High Surf and Coastal Flooding Advisories were in effect through Monday morning for most of the Northwest and Northern Coast of Alaska. They were no longer in effect by 1:00 p.m.

Rick Thoman, the Climate Science and Services manager for the Alaska region of the National Weather Service, is following the development of sea ice along the northern coast, and said in a Tweet Sunday that the storms expected for Northwest Alaska this week would just be “another winter storm.”


By phone on Monday, Thoman said there was now a bit of sea ice in Utqiagvik, (Click here to see the sea ice webcam) and even the little bit could help dampen the impacts of the winds.

He said this particular storm, “is in no sense a strong storm. It’s a very run-of-the-mill November storm for Northwest Alaska. The big difference is that there is virtually no sea ice, not just near-shore, which is a big deal.” He said just a few tens of yards of ice at Utqiagvik could help dampen the impact of the water that’s picked up strength as the wind blows over the whole of the Chukchi Sea.

While this particular storm is winding down, Thoman says the late arrival of sea ice has become more common over the last 15 years or so.

“Back in the day, pre-1998, it would have been very unusual to have this much open water at Barrow this late in the season,” he said, but that it’s not uncommon for recent winters.



 
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