SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Warm November for Southeast Alaska
20.53 inches of rain in Ketchikan


December 05, 2008

Temperatures were primarily cooler than normal for Alaska's Interior and western coast, though relative warmth prevailed in the north and southeast this November. Particularly strong negative temperature anomalies were seen for locations along the Bering Sea coast, from Cold Bay up to Nome. Precipitation amounts were correspondingly below average for those same areas that experienced a cool November (Interior and west) and above average for areas that had a warm November (north and southeast).

Ketchikan had only two dry days during the month. Ten days had more than 1 inch of precipitation-almost twice the normal amount for November. The total precipitation was 20.53 inches, a positive departure of 4.8 inches. Temperatures averaged 3.4 degrees warmer than normal for a monthly mean of 42.2 degrees Fahrenheit. High and low temperatures averaged 46 and 38 degrees, respectively. The high for the month was 54 degrees and occurred Nov. 1, while the low for the month was 31 degrees on Nov. 9 and 19. Winds were close to normal, with an average speed of 8.4 mph.

jpg Ketchikan weather

Around the state, temperatures averaged 3.3 degrees above normal in Juneau this November, with a mean monthly temperature of 35.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Incidentally, this is the first time that a month has averaged above normal in Juneau since May. High and low temperatures averaged 40 and 31 degrees, respectively. The high temperature was 44 degrees Nov. 7 and 28. The month's low temperature occurred Nov. 9 and 18. It was 20 degrees. Snowfall was a meager 3.8 inches, which is only 30 percent of normal for November. The liquid water equivalent precipitation was 5.89 inches, almost half an inch above average. Due to the relative warmth, heating degree-days totaled about 70 units less than normal with 882 for the month. Winds averaged 5.5 mph at the airport.

In Anchorage, November temperatures were very close to the climatological normal­a rarity for wintertime in the Far North. The mean temperature of the month was 20.9 degrees Fahrenheit, just 0.9 degrees cooler than normal for November. High and low temperatures were 26 degrees and 16 degrees, respectively. The monthly high and low temperatures were 34 degrees Nov. 10 and 12, and 6 degrees Nov. 18 and 21. Heating degree-days were just slightly more than normal, with 1,314 units for the month. Snowfall was an abundant 21.7 inches, almost twice the normal amount for November. A foot of snow was on the ground at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport by December. This amount of snow was six inches above average. Liquid equivalent precipitation was 1.11 inches, slightly more than normal. Winds at the airport averaged about 5 mph for the month.

In Fairbanks, November was colder and a drier than normal this year. The average temperature for the month was just below zero at minus 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cooler than the average November by 3.7 degrees. At the airport, the high temperature failed to reach 20 degrees during the month. On Nov. 11 and 28, it reached only 17 degrees Fahrenheit, though the low for the month was 25 degrees below zero, which occurred Nov. 19. The average high and low temperatures during November were 7 degrees and minus 10 degrees below zero, respectively. Snowfall totaled 6.5 inches-about half the normal amount for November-and 10 inches were on the ground at the airport by December. The snowfall was a couple of inches below normal. Liquid equivalent precipitation was 0.28 inches, which is about four-tenths of an inch below average. Winds were quite light, averaging about 1 mph, typical for the time of year in Fairbanks. Heating degree-days totaled 1,986 units, which is 100 units more than normal, and a result of the cooler than average weather.

Big Delta had a cold and dry November. It was only during the last week of the month that there was a noticeable warm-up with above average temperatures. The mean monthly temperature was 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 2.3 degrees below average. The high and low temperatures averaged 12 degrees and minus 4 degrees, respectively. Liquid equivalent precipitation totaled 0.59 inches-two-tenths less precipitation than normal for November. Winds were about 13 mph on average, which is right about normal for this
time of year.

In November, it snowed on all but two days in Barrow for a monthly total of 12.3 inches-nearly four times the normal amount. Snow on the ground at the airport was 14 inches by the start of December, which is six inches more than normal. The liquid water equivalent precipitation was twice the normal amount and totaled 0.31 inches. Temperatures were consistently above normal in November. The average temperature for the month was 4 degrees Fahrenheit, a positive departure of almost five degrees. High and low temperatures averaged 9 degrees and minus 1 degree Fahrenheit, respectively. The monthly high and low temperatures were 21 degrees Nov. 3, and minus 23 degrees Nov.
28. Heating degree-days totaled 1,824 units, a negative departure of 150 units. Since July 1, the heating degree-day total is 450 units less than normal, and indicates the persistent warmth for the latter half of the year in Barrow. Winds averaged about 14 mph at the airport, normal for this time of year.

In Nome, the later half of November was quite cool since temperatures were well below normal. The monthly mean was 7.6 degrees below normal at 9 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high temperature was 17 degrees. The average low temperature was 1 degree. On Nov. 1, the monthly high of 29 degrees Fahrenheit was reported. On Nov. 28, the low of 21 degrees below zero occurred. Due to the cold, heating degree-days were about 225 units more than normal for the month with 1,671. Snowfall was 4.4 inches less than normal with 9.1 inches for the month. Ten inches of snow were on the ground at the airport by month's end. Liquid equivalent precipitation totaled 0.37 inches, about 30 percent of normal for November. Winds averaged 5.5 miles per hour at the airport.

In November, there were some wide temperature swings in King Salmon, with a high of 42 degrees Fahrenheit Nov. 9, and a low of minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit Nov. 30. Overall, temperatures were well below normal, with a mean for the month of 14.8 degrees. This temperature is 8.4 degrees cooler than normal for November and it ranks as the tenth coldest on record. On Nov. 21, there was a record low of minus 14 degrees. On average, though, the lows were 6 degrees and the highs were 23 degrees. Heating degree-days were
245 units more than normal for the month, with a total of 1,499 units. Since July 1, the heating degree-day total is a whopping 691 units more than normal. Winds were a bit lighter than normal for November, with an average value of 7.7 miles per hour. Snowfall totaled 10.4 inches-about four inches more than normal-and there were four inches on the ground by month's end. Liquid equivalent precipitation was about half the normal amount with 0.74 inches.


Source of News:

This information consists of preliminary climatological data compiled by Dr.
Martha Shulski at the Alaska Climate Research Center, Geophysical Institute,
University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information on weather and
climatology, visit the center web site at

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska