January 2012 will have a place in the weather record books. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Brader says locations across the northern half of the state bested or came close to records.
January 2012 was the coldest month ever at Galena. The average temperature at Galena -32.6, and there were four consecutive days at the end of the month with minus 60 degree lows, including -65 this past Sunday. Other communities breaking cold records were Nome, McGrath, Tanana and Bettles. It was the 5th coldest January on record at Fairbanks, with an average temperature of -26.9. Brader says the extreme cold was the result of a very persistent pattern in the upper atmosphere or jet stream.
February has seen an end to the cold weather pattern. Brader says the jet stream has shifted.
Brader says it’s unclear how long the new pattern will hold, but it appears thing will stay on the warm side into next week.
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