Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alaska's Record Warmth Captured In Colorful NASA Photo

[Weather] You'd expect the South to sweat through mid-May, but one area of the United States was, surprisingly, even further above average.
Alaska set numerous record high temperatures in the past couple of weeks, even in towns north of the Arctic Circle. In extreme northern Alaska, temperatures soared as high as 47 degrees in Barrow, which is unseasonably warm for this time of year.
That might not be the kind of stifling heat the Lower 48 will have in July, but it's shocking warmth for a normally-frigid area. To show how odd this warmth was, NASA took surface temperature data from May 17-24 using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite. In the image at the top of this page, above-average temperatures are shown in red, while the pattern change was evident in the West, where temperatures dropped below average.
According to Weather Underground's Bob Henson, the 47-degree high on May 21 was Barrow's warmest temperature on record so early in the calendar year. The previous earliest date the temperature reached 47 degrees in Barrow was May 23, 1996.
Henson adds that the average date this first occurs is June 17. Despite 24 hours of sunlight, the average high this time of year in Barrow is still stuck in the upper 20s.
Barrow wasn't alone setting records. The heat, as usual, has been most pronounced in Alaska's eastern interior. Fairbanks soared to 86 degrees on May, breaking the old daily record by 6 degrees.
The tiny village of Eagle, located near the border with Canada's Yukon Territory, has seen temperatures soar as high as 91 degrees. For nine consecutive days, Eagle's high temperature topped 80 degrees. Read More