While the mild winter across most of the country has some people wishing for snow covered landscapes and cold, crisp mornings... there is one place where winter continues in full force! That place lies over 2,000 miles northwest of Seattle, Wash., in the state of Alaska!
Alaskans have been experiencing the most brutal winter conditions of anybody in the United States this season. Thanks to cold being bottled up across the Northwest Territories and Alaska, the season has been chock full of snow, frigid temperatures, and plenty of ice fog to go around.
In the city of Fairbanks, January 2012 will likely be the coldest January in the last 40 years, according to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. The average temperature through the 27th is 24.7 degrees below zero. This is the coldest average through the first 27 days since 1971 when the average was 29.8 degrees below zero.
As of Saturday morning, Fairbanks International Airport has had a daily minimum temperature of 40 degrees below zero or lower for 14 days this month.
They'll easily reach 15 days as temperatures overnight and early Sunday morning dip to near 50 degrees below zero. The record for Jan 29 is 58 degrees below zero set in 1933 and, should skies remain clear, the airport would have a shot at reaching that value. However, as was the case last night and this morning, areas of dense ice fog will likely hamper their shot of breaking that record.
Ice fog is a type of fog consisting of fine ice crystals which are suspended in air. This phenomena is found only in arctic areas as water droplets can remain liquid under the right conditions down to 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Below 40 degrees below zero, all liquid droplets will solidify, thereby creating the ice-fog that Alaskans are used to seeing in these frigid temperatures.
Along with Fairbanks, the remainder of Alaska has been in the deep freeze for the last month.
Anchorage is running an amazing 14.3 degrees below average through the 27th and they've received 23.9 inches of snow thus far in January. That 23.9 inches of snow is double what the average amount is for the month.
Other cities, from Nome to Barrow to Juneau are running well below normal for the month in terms of temperature and amount of snowfall. But by far, the worst conditions are found across the interior.
Below-normal temperatures are forecast for the interior through the end of the month and its likely that when all is said and done, January will be in the top eight in Fairbanks in terms of coldest winters since records began in 1906.
Strong thunderstorms are impacting areas from Texas to Louisiana with large hail, damaging winds and a risk of tornadoes.
Severe storms, some capable of producing tornadoes, will threaten communities across northeastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana and Arkansas into Tuesday night.
The same storm system responsible for producing violent thunderstorms in Oklahoma recently will reach the Atlantic Seaboard Thursday.
While additional strong thunderstorms will roll through through portions of tornado-ravaged Oklahoma Tuesday, the risk of tornadoes has diminished.
The atmospheric severe weather engine began firing on all cylinders this past weekend and reached full speed Monday over Oklahoma.
Preliminary reports are calling it an EF-4 tornado that has caused numerous fatalities and injuries in Moore, Okla.
Hallam, NE (2004)
The "Hallam" tornado touched on the ground for 2.5 miles and reached F4 status at it's peak intensity. 95% if the town of Hallan's buildings were damages or destroyed.
Southwestern & Central OK (1996)
Sinking air from dying thunderstorms cause unusual late night rise in temperature. Many places rose from upper 80s at 11:00PM to near 100 degrees by 3:00AM.
San Antonio, TX (1998)
Very dry since April 1st - only 0.05 of rain.