Harshest Cold Spell in Years for Fairbanks, Alaska

January 30, 2012; 2:12 PM
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Photo by Photos.com.

Residents of Fairbanks, Alaska, are enduring the harshest cold spell in more than a decade.

Temperatures early Sunday morning at the Fairbanks International Airport plummeted to 51 below zero.

Fairbanks is known for its frigid winters, but temperatures typically only drop to 16 below zero this time of year. Sunday morning's low is actually not far from the record low of 58 below zero from 1933.

That record would likely have been broken if dense ice fog was not present, according to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

Sunday marked the second consecutive day of temperatures to or under 50 below zero, the first such occurrence since the last two days of December 1999.

Before Saturday, Jan. 27, 2006, was the last time temperatures dropped to 50 below zero in Fairbanks.

Saturday's high in Fairbanks was held to 42 below zero, the coldest high temperature at the airport since Jan. 2, 2000.

Temperatures in Fairbanks have been 40 below zero or colder 15 days so far this month. That ties the record from 1972 for the most 40 below zero January days in the last 40 years.

AccuWeather.com Facebook fan Wesley D. submitted this photo of a thermometer registering minus 50 degrees at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska.

This month is on pace to be the coldest January since 1971 and one of the top ten coldest on record.

Furthermore, "there is a chance that this January will end just within the top ten coldest months ever on record at Fairbanks," according to a statement from the National Weather Service in the city.

On Sunday morning, there were even colder temperatures recorded in other areas of Alaska. A low of 65 degrees below zero was measured at Fort Yukon, Alaska, while the low plunged to 64 below zero in Kandik River, Alaska. Not too far away from Fairbanks, North Pole, Alaska, dipped to 60 below zero on Sunday morning.

Temperatures will rebound a bit through Tuesday as a storm system delivers a bit of snow to eastern Alaska.

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