Utqiaġvik, Alaska (formerly Barrow) has been hitting multiple daily record high temperatures recently. The most recent was also the most significant.
Utqiaġvik recorded a high temperature of 40°F officially Monday, December 5th. They not just broke it however. They shattered the previous daily record (26°F – 1972, 2006). Additionally for comparison’s sake… the normal high temperature for the day is only supposed to be 4°F. To put another way, this record high temperature was 1,000 percent above normal.
A Significant Temperature Record in Utqiaġvik
40 degrees may not sound like a big deal. But up north in Barrow this time of the year, it is. It appears unprecedented.
This appears to be the fist time Utqiaġvik officially hit 40 degrees on record for December. It goes beyond that too. It appears to be the warmest temperature ever recorded there in December and it is also the warmest they have been on record for any date between October 30 to April 22.
A Week of High Temperature Records
Multiple locations across Alaska have been rewriting the record books for the last week. We have warmed to new daily high temperature records multiple times, including in Utqiaġvik. However, the foundation was established to build the 40 that we got on Monday.
All of the Alaska high temperatures Monday, December 5th:
40° – UTQIAĠVIK
38° – MCGRATH
34° – KOTZEBUE
All of the Alaska high temperatures Sunday, December 4th:
40° – BETHEL, AK – PBET
36° – NOME, AK
All of the Alaska high temperatures Saturday, December 3rd:
28° – UTQIAĠVIK, AK
All of the Alaska high temperatures Friday, December 2nd:
32° – UTQIAĠVIK, AK – PBRW
34° – KOTZEBUE, AK
All of the Alaska high temperatures Wednesday, November 30th:
29° – UTQIAĠVIK, AK
Climate Change – Utqiaġvik Perspective
No roads lead to Utqiaġvik (population 4,354). Transportation relies on planes and ships. Prices at the stores there are often much more expensive than what you may be used to seeing. Utqiaġvik is the ‘top’ of the nation. In some ways, they see the first impacts of human caused climate change, compared to other areas where the impacts may be much harder to notice. Utqiaġvik also had their wettest day on record earlier this year in more than 100 years of record keeping. Arctic warming is significantly faster compared to the rest of the planet. The local Americans, over 60% Native American or Alaska Native, find ways to adapt how they can.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also has their work on the sixth assessment.
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Joe has been with Praedictix since 2016. He graduated with a bachelor’s in meteorology with a minor in mathematics from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He also interned at Studio One in UND while earning awards as a student broadcaster and teaching assistant along the way. During summers off from college, Joe was the weather intern for the KSTP weather team based in the Twin Cities. Joe then worked as the morning meteorologist for 2 years at KCWY in Casper, Wyoming; then 4 years as the morning meteorologist at WSJV in South Bend-Elkhart, IN. There, Joe became a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) through the American Meteorological Society and still owns the earned seal.