Cold snap deepens as Fairbanks officially drops to minus 40

6T1_hibernatingbikesCarol Pritchard took this photo of “bikes in hibernation” at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. It was minus 32 degrees. The temperature at Fairbanks International Airport officially reached 40 below zero on Monday.

Other parts of the eastern Interior drop to more than 50 below. | Dec 4, 2012

by Tim Mowry

FAIRBANKS – It’s now officially a cold snap.

Fairbanks recorded its first 40-degree below zero temperature of the winter at Fairbanks International Airport early Monday night.

The mercury hit 40 below at 6:41 p.m., the coldest temperature so far in Fairbanks during a week-long cold snap that has seen temperatures in other parts of the eastern Interior drop to more than 50 below.

Ironically, the temperature climbed up to 30 below, the high for the day, about six hours later at 11:59 p.m. when some clouds moved in, said meteorologist Rick Thoman at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.

But the clouds moved out shortly thereafter and the temperature dropped again. The coldest temperature so far today at the airport is 38 below at 11:06 a.m.

On average, Fairbanks has 11 days each winter when the temperature hits 40 below or colder.

Clouds are expected to move into the central Interior later today, which could bring slightly warmer temperatures — 10 to 25 below — and even a few snow flurries but it won’t amount to much, Thoman said.

“We might get one-tenth of an inch to break our streak,” he said, referring to a stretch of 24 days without snow at the airport.


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