Unusally cold across the North Slope region of Alaska

January 24th, 2012 |
POES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR images + surface reports

POES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR images + surface reports

 

Unusually cold conditions were seen across the North Slope region of Alaska during the 22 January – 24 January 2012 period. A sequence of AWIPS images of 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR channel data (above) showed the expansion of a large area of surface IR brightness temperatures of -50 C and colder (violet to white color enhancement) across the interior portions of the North Slope. Nuiqsut (station identifier PAQT) was as cold as -62 F (-52 C) on 24 January, and Barrow (station identifier PABR) reached a low temperature of -45 F (-43 C) on 23 January (the record low temperature for the date was -47 F, and the normal low for the date is -20 F).

Another feature of interest over the Arctic Ocean was the appearance of a number of what resembled “warm cracks”  in the sea ice, where IR brightness temperatures were -30 C or warmer (yellow color enhancement) — significant amounts of thermal energy from the warmer waters below were able to “bleed up” through weaknesses and thinner areas of the sea ice, showing up as warm anomalies on the IR imagery.

A Public Information Statement was issued by the National Weather Service forecast office at Fairbanks:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
700 PM AKST TUE JAN 24 2012

…SEVERE COLD CONTINUES OVER THE NORTH SLOPE OF ALASKA…

A VERY COLD AIR MASS CONTINUES OVER THE NORTH SLOPE…COMBINED
WITH WINDS IN SOME AREAS. HERE ARE SOME LOW TEMPERATURES RECORDED SO FAR TODAY ACROSS THE NORTH SLOPE OF ALASKA.

NUIQSUT……………..62 BELOW
UMIAT……………….59 BELOW
INIGOK………………54 BELOW
ALPINE………………53 BELOW
ATQASUK……………..48 BELOW
DEADHORSE……………47 BELOW
WAINRIGHT……………44 BELOW
KAKTOVIK…………….40 BELOW
BARROW………………39 BELOW

TEMPERATURES OVER THE NORTH SLOPE WILL REMAIN IN THE 40S AND 50S BELOW WITH POCKETS NEAR 60 BELOW FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS…AND POTENTIALLY INTO THE WEEKEND.

$$

JM

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