Some remarkable weather in North America recently as most of you probably know. Check out Jeff Masters for some of the details.
Record warmth and precipitation in Alaska
As of January 26, 13.83" of precipitation had fallen in Valdez during the month of January. This is more than 8" above average for this point in the month, and close to the all-time record for January precipitation of 15.18", set in 2001 (records go back to 1972.) With more rain on the way Monday and Tuesday, this record could easily fall. Numerous locations in Southeast Alaska have beaten their rainiest January day on record marks.
Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has much more detail on the record Alaska January warmth in his latest post, Record Warmth in Alaska Contrasts Cold Wave in Eastern U.S. A few highlights:
- Temperatures of up to 40° above normal occurred across the interior and West Coast of Alaska on Sunday. Bolio Lake Range Complex in Fort Greely, Alaska, located about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, hit 60°. This is only 2° short of the all-time state January heat record of 62° set at Petersburg in 1981.
- At 10pm local time Sunday in Homer, Alaska, the temperature was 54°. This was warmer than any location in the contiguous U.S., except for Southern Florida and Southern California. The 55° high in Homer on Sunday broke their all-time monthly record by 4°.
- All-time January heat records have been set in 2014 in Nome, Denali Park, Palmer, Homer, Alyseka, Seward, and Talkeetna.
Check out this flyover video of a huge avalanche that has cut off Valdez, Alaska and created a massive ice dam:
This topsy-turvy weather is once again courtesy of a sharp kink in the Jet Stream.
Besides climate change and global warming which are relatively slow processes, is there a more "short term" reason for the abnormal weather in Alaska and also in other parts around the world such as in a more recent post made called "England worst winter weather in at least 248 years" (posted 18 February)?
There seems to be a global trend in abnormal weather since the beginning of the year, even here in South Africa.
Yes, the more immediate cause of much of these extreme weather events is the disruption of the jet stream. Large ox-bows in the normally more circular airflow is bringing warm air from the tropics north in some areas and cold air from the arctic south in others.