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    Alaska's Brutal Cold Reaches Historical Status

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
    November 21, 2011, 10:45:39 AM EST

    Frigid temperatures are not uncommon in Alaska this time of year, but the brutal cold currently gripping Fairbanks has reached a historical status.

    Saturday marked the fifth consecutive day that temperatures dipped to or past 35 below zero in Fairbanks.

    Never before since record-keeping began in 1904 has Fairbanks endured such a streak so early in the winter season. The previous record was only two consecutive days in 1989.

    The coldest morning so far this month in Fairbanks was Thursday with a low of 41 below zero.

    The last time Fairbanks recorded a November temperature reading of 40 below zero or colder was back in 1994.

    It is not just the overnights that have been brutally cold, but also the daytime hours.

    High temperatures during the last four days were held to 20 below zero or colder, a streak that for this time of year breaks the record of three days from 1989.

    The high of 23 below zero on Saturday was itself record-breaking, marking the day's coldest high temperature ever registered. The previous record was 22 below zero from 1911.

    Six hours of sunlight proved to be not enough to significantly warm temperatures, according to Meteorologist Bill Deger.


    A high of 9 above zero and a low of 9 below zero is more common in Fairbanks this time of year.

    As Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel alluded to last weekend when he warned of the impending cold, an arctic dome of high pressure was responsible for the historically frigid temperatures.

    That high is now chilling the Upper Midwest, but the cold has yet to release its grip from Alaska.

    Temperatures will remain subzero in Fairbanks through this week with the cold set to worsen across western Alaska in the upcoming few days.

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