Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hot Times In Barrow Alaska. (At Least By Their Standards)

Barrow, on the northern tip of Alaska is not the place for you if you like basking in tropical warmth.

It's easily the coldest city in the United States, and this time of year, normal highs are near 10 degrees, with readings a little below zero at night.

Barrow, Alaska, shown here in a summertime photo a
couple years back, is having a record warm autumn
at least by their standards.  
Back in October, when we Vermonters usually bask in temperatures up in the 50s and 60s amid fall foliage, it's usually winter already in Barrow. Normal daily high temperatures are usually below freezing by mid-October in Barrow.  

But by those chilly standards, Barrow has been a tropical paradise this autumn.

October's average temperature up there was 30.1 degrees, the hottest on record and a whopping 12.9 degrees toastier than normal.  It got up to 44 degrees on October 10 up there. Chilly for us, beach weather for them.

The warmth has continued into November. Instead of the usual high/low of 10 and a little below zero, daytime temperatures have been in the mid 20s to low 30s this month.

Part of the reason Barrow has been so warm has been a serious lack of sea ice in the Arctic. When there's open ocean, relatively warm water can evaporate into the air. When it's frozen, it's frozen, no "heat" escapes from the water. It's sealed off by ice.

Barrow is not the only place that's been so warm lately in the Great White North, though in a few places up there it still isn't so white.

The western and northwestern shores of Hudson Bay have reached the upper 50s in recent days, in a zone that is normally constantly below freezing this time of year.

Hudson Bay is usually freezing up by this time of year, but it's largely ice free at the moment.

This northern warmth will have a bit of a factor in our weather here in New England late this week and into Saturday.

We're due for a shot of cold air from the source region of central Canada, where temperatures are so much warmer than average. That means the cold shot coming our way won't be as cold as you'd expet in the weather pattern that is expected to set up at the end of the week.

Instead of our own early season bout of subfreezing afternoons, it will be seasonably cold, with highs in the upper 30s, with just scattered wet snow showers. No big deal for November.

 were basking in fall foliage and temperature

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