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Old 04-24-2007, 11:48 PM
 
Location: I'm around here someplace :)
1,667 posts, read 1,970,327 times
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Default how cold DOES it get?

just curious...!
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
115 posts, read 475,286 times
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Our temp here in Anchorage in February:

http://home.gci.net/~nsdjoubert/Photos/Coldtemp.jpg (broken link)
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
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Well on the summit of Denali it can get down to 100 below zero with the windchill. But I guess mountains don't really count.

The coldest it got this year in Fairbanks was 44 below zero. Last winter it hit 51 below.

It doesn't seem to get much colder than 60 below anywhere in the state (that has a thermometer) anymore, so I would say that's about as cold as it gets. But with windchill it can obviously go lower than that.

These students are joining the 40 below club at my school.
http://www.uaf.edu/sigep/40%20Below/40below.jpg (broken link)
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Old 04-25-2007, 03:35 AM
 
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I am going to go the opposite route, and little known fact.....there are some warmer places in Alaska. I live on the Aleutian chain and we NEVER see any below anything here where I am. Even this year we had a few extremely cold days and it still wasn't below. We average 20 in the winter. However it is very windy here like all the time. We could give the "Windy City" a run for its money, where as Anchorage is a colder place it can feel more cold here with the wind.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
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dyscti, that is what my dad calls 'LION WEATHER' All you see is the tip of the lion's nose and his mane!
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Texas
95 posts, read 233,761 times
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Default speaking of wind...

how windy is it in Anchorage?

I'm in the panhandle of Texas, off the eastern slope of the rocky mountains, and we are accustomed to 15-20 mph winds most of the time. to get our attention, it has to be blowing 35-40 mph, and for us, a "still" day is 5-10 mph. Its very dry here too, less than 30% humidity.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,995,144 times
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Default coastal vs interior

How cold it gets mostly depends on whether you're talking about coastal or interior Alaska. The weather in the coastal regions spends much of the winter hovering right around or just below freezing, maybe a couple weeks or a month in the low negatives (minus ten or twenty). Some years (like this one, apparently) are much colder for much longer.

The interior (like Fairbanks, etc.) is a different story. Without the moderating influence of the ocean the heat radiates away from the earth rapidly on cold, cloudless nights and it can get REALLY cold. Its not uncommon to see temps in the negative 40F and colder range, and it can stay that way for weeks or months at a time. The interior of AK also gets hotter during the summer, which seems paradoxical but actually makes sense when you think of it. Lots of sunshine and long days in the summer means the earth has a lot of excess energy to heat it up. Its common to get summer temps in the 90's and occasionally even 100F in Fairbanks, while the coastal regions and especially the cities of the SE rarely top the 80s.

Of course like anywhere else local conditions can vary quite a bit due to the influence of geography and microclimate, lakes, rivers, mountains, etc. A couple hundred feet of elevation can also make all the difference in the world.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Not on POW Anymore :)
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On POW it rarely got below freezing this past winter.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:50 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
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My little burg in the interior has the distinction of getting to -79 (before windchill) in the late 80's. We routinely have at least a couple of weeks at -50.

Now let's put this in perspective. Since we routinely reach into the 80s in the summer (possibly 90s and low 100s), we have a yearly temperature fluctuation of at least 130 degrees! I'll feel sorry for those people in Arizona only when their high is 130 degrees above their low!!!

It's not unusual for our temperatures to rise by 40-50 degrees in a few days in late winter/early spring. We are sweltering when the temps are in the low teens, and we routinely start opening doors and windows then! Believe it or not, many people sleep with a window cracked open at -30.

When I lived in Bethel, school wasn't cancelled unless the windchill hit -75 (usually -40 with heavy wind). I think that has changed with the new windchill calculations. I believe the local school isn't cancelled unless windchill temps reach -60; since we have little wind, the kiddos are in school when the mercury drops to -50!

Another point of interest...McGrath had a large fire on Christmas Eve. Imagine the volunteer firemen getting drenching wet at -45! And imagine spectators standing around for hours while the fire was being fought! One spectator I know said she now knows what the planet Mercury must feel like, blistering hot on one side (facing the fire) and freezing cold on the other!
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 5,420,888 times
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v163/KL7EU/March207.jpg (broken link)

Seward, Alaska: winter 2007. With the recent warming trend, this is about the coldest it gets around here any more. Back in the '70's it used to get colder...I once saw it dip to -17 circa 1974. This photo...-10 temp was recorded 7 miles inland from the coast, (was about 10 degrees warmer in town...it's warmer along the coast due to the "warm" Japanese current affecting the shoreline...gets colder fast inland...). On cold days you can literally see the ocean water "steaming"...I'll go sort through my photos...I got a pic of that somewhere...

Ok...here it is: Ressurrection Bay, Seward, Ak, Jan '07. This was one heck of a cold day. (probably close to zero). The air was so danged frigid, and the ocean water so "warm" (close to freezing) that the water gave off all this "steam". (We don't do much swimming in the ocean here...)
See that low angle of sunlight on the mountains? and the feeble level of intensity? That's the way it is here in the dead of winter...(and it's only there for 4 or 5 hrs before it sets...and gets dark for 18+hrs...)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v163/KL7EU/A-COLD-DAY.jpg (broken link)

Bud

Last edited by BudinAk; 04-27-2007 at 12:33 AM..
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