SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Alaska's Panhandle Cooler in May; Interior Warmer than Normal


June 06, 2007

Temperature conditions for a large swath of Alaska's Interior and southern regions continued a trend of warmer than normal weather. Many locations that were warm also experienced dryness. Temperatures for the southern coastal areas, from the Panhandle to the Alaska Peninsula, were just a few degrees below normal, while the Northwest was more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit below normal.

Some notable weather-related features that occurred across the state during May were green-up for the Interior, thunderstorm activity statewide, and wildfire activity, burning nearly 40,000 acres statewide by month's end.

In Ketchikan, at the southern end of the Panhandle, it was a bit cooler than normal, and rainfall fell short of the normal total for May. The average temperature for the month was 47.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.2 degrees below normal. High temperatures averaged 55 degrees, while low temperatures averaged 39 degrees. The highest daily maximum temperature was 71 degrees on May 15. The lowest temperature of freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) was observed on May 8, and again on the 18th. Precipitation totaled 7.48 inches for the month, and measurable amounts occurred on 19 days, with another two days of trace events. This monthly total is over an inch shy of the normal 8.70 inches for May.

jpg Ketchikan weather

May brought cooler and wetter than normal conditions for Juneau this year. The monthly average temperature was 46.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.2 degrees cooler than normal. The average high and low were 55 degrees and 39 degrees, respectively. The temperature got as warm as 68 degrees on May 23, and as low as 29 degrees on the 1st. It was wetter by more than three quarters of an inch at the airport as 4.27 inches of rain was reported during the month. A trace of snow was recorded due to hail that occurred on May 8. The airport reported a peak wind gust of 45mph on May 6, though winds in downtown were considerably lower.

Both the temperature and precipitation conditions in King Salmon were very close to normal in May. The average temperature for the month was just 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal at 43.2 degrees. The average high and low were 53 degrees and 34 degrees, respectively. The highest and lowest temperatures for the month were 63 degrees and 25 degrees on May 21 and the 11th, respectively. There was measurable precipitation during 12 days of May for a total of 1.41 inches, which is 0.06 more than normal. The highest wind gust was 46 mph, and was reported on May 22.

Weather conditions were close to climatology in Anchorage this May, with an average monthly temperature 1 degree Fahrenheit above normal, and a precipitation total just 0.04 inch below normal. The average temperature was 47.9 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average high and low temperatures were 56 degrees and 40 degrees, respectively. The high and low temperatures for the month were 65 degrees on May 20, and 33 degrees on May 3, and the 6th. Precipitation occurred on eight days during the month for a total of 0.66 inch and the highest daily amount was just over a quarter inch on May 7.

Fairbanks had a rather mild and dry May in 2007. The average monthly temperature was 51 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warmer than normal by 2.2 degrees. The average high was 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low was 40 degrees. While the absolute high was a balmy 79 degrees (May 25-26), the absolute low was a chilly 25 degrees (May 1). There were seven days during the second half of the month when the temperature was 70 degrees, or higher. Green-up around the Fairbanks area occurred on May 4, about a week earlier than normal. Precipitation was about a quarter inch less than normal at 0.86 inch. Rainfall occurred on seven days in May, and trace events accounted for
another five days.

It was a cool and wet May in Barrow this year. The average temperature of 16.9 degrees Fahrenheit was just more than 3 degrees cooler than normal. Similarly, the average high and low temperatures were cooler than normal at 22 degrees and 12 degrees, respectively. On May 24, the high reached 32 degrees. On May 16, the low for the month, minus 4 degrees, was reported. This temperature tied the record low for the date. Precipitation totaled a quarter inch, which is about twice the normal amount. Snowfall also was above average, with 6 inches for the month. By the end of May, 8 inches of snow was on the ground at the airport, over twice the normal amount for that time of year. The sunset on May 10 was the last one to be seen at Barrow until August 3.

Nome had a warmer and drier than normal May, continuing April's trend. The average temperature for the month was 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal at 38.5 degrees. The average high and low for the month were 46 degrees and 31 degrees, respectively, which are both warmer than normal. On May 25, the high for the month, 66 degrees, was reported. May 5, 13, and 14 all experienced the month's lowest temperature, 18 degrees. Precipitation was a meager 0.08 inch, about 10 percent of normal for May and a trace of snow occurred early in the month.


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

Source of News & Chart:

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


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Ketchikan, Alaska