After “The Great Tok Weather Controversy,” Rick Thoman from NOAA stopped by to talk about the weather. Here’s a video of him up on mDialog (click on link or video image to go to site and play – QuickTime required).
- Daily Temperature Comparison, Tok NWS Cooperative vs. C4591 (Turks on the Tundra, Weather Underground) – DOWNLOAD PDF
- Difference in Daily Tmerperature Extremes, Tok NWS Cooperative-C4591 – DOWNLOAD PDF
Read on for a note from Rick Thoman…
As promised, attached are pdfs of the charts I handed out on Friday. I’ve spiffed them up a bit to acknowledge the data sources and added the required caveats.
On the drive home Friday afternoon, I was thinking that one issue we did not discuss, but that might be of interest to readers of “Living in Tok” from Outside, is the fact that in Tok (and Interior and northern Alaska in general), is that in mid-winter temperatures can get into the 30s below or colder and stay there, night and day. This just does not happen in the lower 48. Anywhere. Ever.
Yes, northern Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana can have low temperatures in the 40s and even 50s below. But daytime temperatures recover at least into the 20s below, if not teens below. And that is record cold territory. I believe that International Falls, MN, (“the Nation’s Icebox”) lowest daily high temperature of record is 31 below, and most days in mid-winter the daily record low maximums are in the teens or 20s below. Earlier this month when there were some record lows in these areas, the coldest day at International Falls had a high of 13 below, and Bismarck, ND had no days with a high even in double digits below. Now obviously a day in mid-winter in Tok, or really any valley location in Interior Alaska, with a high of 31 below is pretty ho-hum. Chilly, but nothing to get too thrilled about. It’s that super-cold soak, with temperatures continuously 30s below and colder, that really takes its toll.
(from Rick Thoman, NOAA)
So what do you all think of this? My feeling is that since the -71 and -80 temps seem likely that they were technical malfunctions, we’ll just have to settle for the fact that we had consistent temps in the -50s and -60s for over a week and leave it at that.
Oh well, no earth shattering record. But still a wee bit colder than you, eh?