SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


March temperatures in Southeastern Alaska higher than normal


April 10, 2010

(SitNews) - March temperatures were several degrees below normal in Interior and Western Alaska, as well as along the Aleutians. The strongest negative departures from normal were found along the west coast and on the Pribilofs, with mean monthly temperatures reaching from four to 13 degrees below normal, while temperatures in northern and southeastern Alaska were higher than normal.

March temperatures averaged 1.3 degrees above average in Ketchikan in March, with a mean monthly value of 39.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The monthly high temperature was 50 degrees Fahrenheit on March 20, and the recorded low was 27 degrees on March 8. Precipitation was 13.81 inches greater than normal for March, with 24.5 inches reported. Precipitation occurred on all but three days during the month, and the highest daily amount was 3.26 inches on March 24.

jpg Ketchikan March 2010 weather

Graphic courtesy Alaska Climate Research Center

Temperatures were on the warm side in Juneau, as the average temperature was 36.5 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.9 degrees above normal for March. The high was 48 degrees Fahrenheit on March 29 and the low for the month was 24 degrees Fahrenheit on March 8. Precipitation was 6.05 inches, 72 percent above normal, and snowfall amounts were also above normal. The airport reported 12.6 inches, 2.8 inches more than normal for March. Season-to-date snowfall is 62.3 inches, 33 inches below the normal amount. Juneau set a new daily precipitation record of 0.7 inches on March 23, smashing the old record of 0.43 inches set in 1960. On the same day, Juneau set a new snowfall record of 3.1 inches, surpassing the old record of 1.6 inches set in 2008.

Temperatures in Fairbanks were 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit below the normal in the month of March, averaging 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature was 48 degrees Fahrenheit on March 28 and the low was minus 26 degrees Fahrenheit on March13. Precipitation was reported as 0.09 inches, just 32 percent of normal, the seventh consecutive month of below normal precipitation. And, in a month when snowfall normally averages 5.3 inches,

Fairbanks received just 1.6 inches. At the end of March, the seasonal snowfall total was 24.8 inches, 35.8 inches less than normal for this time in the season. This is the third-lowest total winter snowfall through the end of March (for the period 1930-present). While there is still a chance of snowfall in the next five weeks, this season may be counted as one of the least snowy on record. Fairbanks International Airport reported 10 inches of snow on the ground at the end of the month.

March temperatures in Nome averaged 8 degrees lower than normal and the average for the month was 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The monthly high temperature was 29 degrees Fahrenheit on March 19, March 20 and March 26. The low temperature was minus 32 degrees on March 1. Precipitation was 0.16 inches, 27 percent of normal. Snowfall was less than normal, totaling 4.7 inches, bringing the season-to-date snowfall to 43.5 inches, 11.7 inches less than normal for the time of year. There were 12 inches of snow on the ground at the end of March, which is also well below average for Nome.

Barrow had a warmer than normal March, with an average temperature of minus 9.9 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.8 degrees above normal. The highest and lowest temperatures were 13 degrees Fahrenheit on March18 and minus 43 degrees Fahrenheit on March 15. Precipitation amounts totaled 0.15 inches, 0.06 inches greater than normal. Snowfall totaled 4.1 inches for the month, which is 2.4 inches more than normal, bringing the total season-to-date snowfall to 39.3 inches, 12.2 inches above average. A total of 11 inches was on the ground by the start of April. On March 10, Barrow set a new snowfall record of 1 inch, breaking the old record of 0.8 inches set on that date just last year.

March brought warmer and drier than normal weather to Anchorage. The mean monthly temperature was 27 degrees Fahrenheit, a departure of plus 0.9 degrees. The monthly high and lows were 43 degrees Fahrenheit on March 19, March 29, March 30 and March 31, and minus 5 degrees on March 10. Precipitation totaled 0.34 inches, 53 percent of normal, and snowfall totaled just 0.65 inches for the month, 9.6 inches less than normal. The season-to-date total at the end of March was 51.8 inches, 15.7 inches less than normal for this time. Just a trace of snow was noticeable on the ground at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport by month's end.

King Salmon's average temperature recorded for March was 8 degrees cooler than the 15.5 degrees Fahrenheit average. The high for the month was 43 degrees Fahrenheit on March 25 and the low was minus 24 degrees on March 11 - a new record low. The previous record was minus 23, set on March 11 in 1966. While precipitation totals were 52 percent below normal for the month (0.41 inches), snowfall amounts were recorded at 90 percent above average, 11.8 inches being reported at the airport. The below normal value of
precipitation, but above normal snowfall was caused by the negative deviation in temperature. A large percentage of the precipitation fell as snow. At the end of the month there were just 4 inches on the ground. The seasonal snowfall total-to-date of 43.9 inches is 2.6 inches above normal.

This information consists of preliminary climatological data compiled by the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.


On the Web:

Weather and climatology


Source of News:

Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks


E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2010
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska