October flew by leaving us with a couple of light snowfalls. November came around with something slightly more impressive, but it wasn't the same. Mid December decided to make up for all of the snowfalls that we missed all at once, it seems like.
Observation by Mackenzie Lord:
In October of 2022, I had noticed that it had yet to snow in Anchorage, Alaska and temperatures were unusually high. It's pretty normal for regular snowfalls to begin around mid October; however, this year was different. October flew by leaving us with a couple of light snowfalls. November came around with something slightly more impressive, but it wasn't the same. Mid December decided to make up for all of the snowfalls that we missed all at once, it seems like. Summers are growing hotter and winters are growing shorter in Alaska.
LEO Network Editor Comments:
Thank you Mackenzie for the post. It generated a lot of discussion on our team about changes in early winter, and about the data sets that can help us to understand past weather and climate, as well as projections for the future. We have shared this observation with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at UAF, for weather and climate comments. Actually this snow fall was a bit earlier then the average. You can see the consult from Rick Thoman and related graph below. The projections are however, for increasing temperature in all three months (Oct-Dec) into the foreseeable future. See graph from the Scenario Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) at UAF, the Community Chart for Anchorage showing the historical and projected monthly changes for temperature and precipitation. Note the projected temperature and precipitation increase based on this model scenario. For more information on all of these tools and data sets, see the links provided.
Comment by Rick Thoman:
First snow at Anchorage airport was 1.0 inches on October 10. This is 13 days earlier than the 50-year average date of "first inch" and 6 days earlier than the average date of the first measurable snow (graphic attached). The winter snowpack (1" or more snow and does not subsequently melt out before New Years) was established on Oct 26, the first time the snowpack has been established in October since 2011.