Outdoors, Science

November 2009 Weather Summary

Weather Summary from the Kenai Fjords National Park Service

November was a great month to give thanks:  to the snowplow operators on Thanksgiving weekend, for good ice skating in the middle of the month, for some wonderful snow conditions late in the month, and for the late (but not really that unusual) first snow of the year.  As measured at the Seward
airport weather station, Kenai Fjords NP was cooler than normal.  The
average temperature for the month (at the Seward airport) was 27.6 degrees F (-4.1 degrees F below the 30-year November average temperature).  Total rainfall for October was 7.52 inches, right in line with the 30-year average.  November 5th was the warmest day of the month, with a high of 47 degrees F; October 15-17th were the coldest days with a low of 9 degrees F.

Also of note:

The State of Alaska road weather information systems stations at MP 12
and Turnagain Pass are currently not operational.  The State reports
they are working to have these sites back up and running soon.  Safe
travels and don’t forget that highway conditions are available from
‘The Copenhagen Diagnosis’ http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.com/, presents
a sobering summary of the state of climate change science and
understanding in advance of the UN climate change meetings in
Copenhagen.  Prepared by twenty-six climatologists, including 14 members
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they report that sea
levels could rise and methane-laden arctic permafrost could melt much
sooner than the panel had previously anticipated.  The United Nations
Climate Change Conference “COP15, Copenhagen” is December 7-18, 2009.
The conference website http://en.cop15.dk/.
Animated land and sea surface temperature anomaly maps for the period
June 2002 — October 2009 are available from NASA
http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?group=67 &
.  Land surface temperature is how hot the “surface” of the Earth would
feel to the touch in a particular location.  Sea surface temperature
refers to the temperature of the top millimeter of the ocean.
The National Weather Service’s one month weather outlook (Dec. 2009) is
for increased chances of above normal temperatures for most of Alaska.
The three month outlook (Jan-Mar 2010) also calls for above normal
temperatures. The outlook for precipitation is for equal chances of
above, near, or below median levels. http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/
Cold weather is here!  Don’t forget to ensure your vehicle is prepared
for winter and you have the necessary safety gear.  Alaska DOT weather
stations may be accessed from the station list at the bottom of this
Additional, detailed climate information is available from the UAF
Alaska Climate Research Center monthly state-wide climate summary

Read more to find out about the local climate for November 2009…

Seward Airport Temperature, 2009 (station #26438)
JAN    FEB     MAR     APR     MAY     JUN    JUL     AUG
SEP     OCT     NOV     DEC
MAX         50     39      42      53      68      76    85      68
65      57      47
MIN         -4      1       9      17      30      36    42      40
32      27       9
AVG         21.2   24.5    28.4    36.3    45.9    50.7  56.0   53.5
48.6    43.3    27.6
30-YR AVG   26.2   27.2    32      38.6    45.8    52.1        56.4
55.9    49.6    39.8    31.7    28.1
(Embedded image moved to file: pic11290.jpg)

Monthly temperature (F) at Seward airport. 1971-2000 Average is 30-year
climate normal. 2009 Monthly average values are shown with thin solid
line. The range of maximum and minimum daily temperatures for each month
are shown with dashed vertical lines.

Seward Airport Precipitation, 2009
JAN    FEB    MAR    APR    MAY    JUN    JUL    AUG    SEP
TOTAL       9.71   1.04   1.19   1.99   1.25   1.67         9.95   3.78
3.58  7.84   7.52
30-YR AVG   7.19   5.82   4.14   4.71   4.75   2.32         2.24   5.49
10.36  9.81   7.15   7.84
(Embedded image moved to file: pic05182.jpg)

Monthly precipitation (inches) at Seward airport. 1971-2000 monthly
average is 30-year climate normal.

The Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center coordinates distribution and
dissemination of river and hydrologic data —
http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=pafc.  River reporting
will resume in Spring 2010.

Snow & Ice
Exit Glacier snowcourse measurements began 1 December.  (SWE=snow water
equivalent, or The depth of water in the snowpack, if the snowpack were
melted, expressed in inches)
Exit Glacier       DEC–1st   JAN–1st   FEB–1st   MAR–1st   APR–1st
Snowcourse       dep  swe   dep  swe   dep  swe   dep  swe   dep  swe
dep  swe
1989-2000 Average  —   —   35″  8.5″  44″ 11.9″  50″ 15.2″  54″ 17.5″
28″ 11.7″
2008-2009 Observed 23″  4.4″  26″  5.5″  35″  8.1″  34″  9.4″  47″ 12.5″
24″  8.8″
2009-2010 Observed 21″  5.1″
(Embedded image moved to file: pic31183.jpg)
Average, last winter (2008-2009), and this winter (2009-2010) snow depth
at Exit Glacier.

(Embedded image moved to file: pic21714.jpg)
Average, last winter (2008-2009), and this winter (2009-2010) snow water
equivalence (SWE) at Exit Glacier.

Snowpack on the Kenai Peninsula is currently well-above normal for this
time of year, and slightly above last year’s levels as measured at the
Grouse Creek SNOTEL station (next to the Divide ski area,
).  Meanwhile much of the rest of Alaska has below normal snowpack for
this time of year.  See
and http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/sd_pafc_sites.php for maps of current
snowpack conditions.

Weather Station data (map of [some] stations
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/coopmap/ or
Seward Airport      http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ak8371
Seward Hwy MP#12

Grouse Crk Divide
Exit Glacier        http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ak8375
Harding Icefield    http://www.raws.dri.edu/cgi-bin/rawMAIN.pl?akAHAR
McArthur Pass       http://www.raws.dri.edu/cgi-bin/rawMAIN.pl?akAMCA
Nuka Glacier
Pilot Rock
Buoy 76-Cape Cleare

Weather Forecasts
Seward Summary      http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=AKZ125

Marine Forecast
Surface Map         http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/home_sfcmap.php
Graphical Forecast

4-8 Day Forecast    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/alaska/akmedr.shtml



One Comment

  1. Great information..please keep it coming.