October’s warm weather was “astounding” in its stretch across Alaska, according to the Alaska Climate Research center, which released its data for the month on Tuesday.
Locally, the abnormally warm weather forestalled the season’s first snowfall at sea level. While snow was visible Tuesday above 2,000 feet, none has been measured at Benny Benson State Airport, Kodiak’s official measuring point. In a normal year, Kodiak has had more than an inch and a half of snow by the first week of November.
This year, the jet stream took an unusual course that took warm weather and rain from the central Pacific and drew it as far north as Fairbanks.
In Kodiak, temperatures averaged 44.4 degrees through October, 3.9 degrees above normal. Almost 10 inches of rain were recorded, a figure 21 percent above normal, and rain was recorded on 27 of 31 days in October.
While both precipitation and temperature were well above normal, they fell shy of record territory. The warmest October on record came in 1925, when temperatures averaged 47.9 degrees. October 2013 failed to crack even the top 10 warmest: October 1938, the 10th warmest on record, averaged 44.7 degrees.
The wettest October on record came in 1882, when 17.83 inches of precipitation (rain and snow) were recorded.
Two daily records were set: On Oct. 15, the high temperature of 56 topped a record set in 1984, and on Oct. 27, the high of 55 erased a record set in 1936.
While Anchorage’s Bear Valley saw a wind gust of 106 mph, the highest wind gust recorded in Kodiak was a comparatively mild 54 mph, measured on Oct. 3.
October’s weather has continued through the first week of November, with temperatures above normal and rain.
The steady fall rain has erased most of Kodiak’s rainfall deficit this year. Since Sept. 1, Kodiak is running almost 2 inches above normal rainfall. For the entire year, Kodiak has seen 58.42 inches of precipitation (rain and snow combined), 4.9 inches below normal.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.