Photo Credit: WeatherBell AnalyticsNow is the time of year when Alaska’s snowpack starts to build and temperatures plunge as the days become shorter and shorter. But this year, October has turned out to be more like September, with rainstorms instead of snowstorms, and some of the mildest temperatures on record for the month, particularly across interior Alaska.
While the warm weather pattern, which has been dominated by a high pressure area in the upper atmosphere, is beginning to change with colder and snowier conditions arriving just in time for Halloween, the above-average temperatures have already carved October 2013’s place in the record books.
According to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, rain in the city is rare after October 20, yet it rained there on Oct. 28 with no snow on the ground, an occurrence that “appears to be unprecedented in more than a century of weather observations,” the NWS said in a note on its Facebook page. Temperatures in the 50s at Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Greely were the warmest on record for so late in the fall.
The warm weather led to an even more unusual sight for the fall: smoke from an active wildfire. The Mississippi wildfire, which started in May about 70 miles southeast of Fairbanks, flared up again on Oct. 28, when strong winds were blowing and there were record warm temperatures in the lower 60s.
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