Alaska Unseasonably Warm in January 2014


January 2014 was remarkably mild across nearly all of Alaska, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The same high-pressure system responsible for the intensification of drought in California kept southerly winds aloft for most of the month. This influx of warm air kept temperatures above normal across all of Alaska, resulting in a January average temperature ranking among the “top ten” warmest on record for many Alaskan communities.

January 2014 was Alaska’s warmest January since 1985, and the fourth warmest in the past seven decades, according to NOAA’s analysis of temperature data from 14 geographically widespread weather stations across the state. Several long-term climate stations in southern and southwest Alaska recorded their warmest January ever. At Anchorage the average temperature for January 2014 was warmer than the average January temperature in Philadelphia and New York City this year!

Alaska locations registering the warmest average temperature ever recorded in January at those locations included Seward (61ºF), Homer (57ºF) and Kotzebue (40ºF). The high temperature measured at Alaska’s Palmer Airport of 58ºF far exceeded any reliable temperatures ever recorded in January in that area, according to NOAA.

The Climate Reference Station at Port Alsworth registered a high temperature of 62ºF on January 27, tying the record for the highest temperature ever reported in Alaska in any January.

The warm temperatures caused snow cover to dwindle across the state. In parts of the Matanuska Valley north of Anchorage, snow cover disappeared by late January, exposing dry vegetation that posed a very unseasonable risk of wildfire. Warm, wet chinook winds also wiped out snow cover near Healy and south of Delta Junction in Interior Alaska. In southern Southeast Alaska, the snowline was high up the mountains—a sign of low snowpack that could lead to water shortages for hydropower electric production by late spring.

January rains November, December and January marked the first time Fairbanks had ever received measurable rain in three consecutive winter months in more than a century of observations, NOAA reported.

About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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