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Posts Tagged ‘Fairbanks’

Alaska Declares State Disaster for Interior

Posted by feww on November 20, 2013

Four Storm Systems Devastated Western and Interior Alaska

Governor Sean Parnell has declared a state disaster for Interior Alaska. The governor amended his disaster declaration for the western Alaska villages to include the Fairbanks North Star Borough, according to a press release posted on the state website.

“I commend residents for taking care of their neighbors and helping those who were hardest hit by the storm,” he said.

The same storm systems that devastated western Alaska villages went on to cause widespread damage in Interior Alaska. All told, the four storms that moved through the region blew down trees, cutting power to as many as 16,000 residents at the height of the storm.

“All of our state assets have been standing by to assist the borough, and we have maintained communication through the state emergency operations center during the event,” Governor Parnell continued. “The purpose of this disaster declaration is to ensure the borough has access to recovery grants in order to speed up the process.”

Golden Valley Electric Association has coordinated with all available linemen from across the state to repair downed power lines as quickly as possible. Crews have been working around the clock since the storm subsided this weekend.

Parnell made the announcement after meeting with residents in the Northwest Arctic Borough, Bering Straits Regional Education Attendance Area, and Lower Yukon, as well as the mayors  of FNSB, North Pole and Fairbanks.

Four major storm systems battered the state earlier this month with powerful winds, strong seas and freezing rain and snow, said a report.

The governor’s office says that the declaration opens access to state disaster relief funds to repair infrastructure and some homes.

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Alaska temperature changed by 88 degs in 3 days

Posted by feww on January 16, 2009

A “spectacular chinook” warms Fairbanks, Alaska

The temperature at Fairbanks International Airport dropped  to -44 degrees (44 below zero) on Sunday, the last day of  a  continuous 16-day freeze-up,  the coldest spell in the last 50 years. By Wednesday, the temperature reached a record high  of 44 degrees,  dramatically reversing the trend from one extreme to another. The temperature difference of 88 degrees was reached in just three days.

“Incredible,” said meteorologist Rick Thoman at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. “Is there any other place in the country that can do that?


Adiabatic warming of downward moving air produces the warm Chinook wind. Chinook is a Pacific Northwest Indian word meaning ‘snow-eater,’ as a strong Chinook can make foot deep snow almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below −20°C (−4°F) to as high as 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base levels. The greatest recorded temperature change in 24 hours was caused by Chinook winds on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana; the temperature rose from -48°C (-56°F) to 9°C (49°F), a difference of 105 degrees (source: wikipedia).

“It’s just a spectacular Chinook,” he said.


This spectacular Chinook Arch appeared over Calgary in the late afternoon of January 6, 2003 – during a warm spell when the temperature in the city reached an all-time January record high of 18°C (64°F). Image Credit: CalgaryWikifan. Wikipedia.  GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later versions.

In Nenana, the temperature rose to 54 degrees Thursday morning, another all-time high, Thoman said.

The previous record high at the airport was 43 degrees set in 1981. Also, the temperature at Birch Lake reached a daily record  high of 54 ºF.

“There’s July days when it’s not that warm at Birch Lake,” Thoman said.

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