National Overview - October 2013
Warm and Wet October in Alaska

« National Overview - October 2013


Warm and Wet October in Alaska

During October 2013, an unusual pressure pattern across the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea was associated with a very warm and wet month for Alaska. An area of high pressure situated in the North Pacific and an area of low pressure, associated with the remnants of Typhoon Wipha, in the Bering Sea pumped warm and moist air from the mid-latitudes into Alaska. The Alaska statewide average temperature during October was 8.8°F above the 1971-2000 average, surpassing the previous record warm October of 1925 by 1.1°F. Alaska statewide temperature data dates back to 1918. Many cities across the state also experienced a record or near-record warm October. The warm October delayed the annual freeze of Alaskan lakes with many still ice free by the end of the month. A list of select station temperatures and departures from normal are available below.

The Alaska October statewide precipitation total during October was 74.5 percent above the 1971-2000 average and marked the third wettest October in the 95-year period of record for the state. The record wettest October occurred in 1946 (92.2 percent above average) and the second wettest October occurred in 1936 (76.3 percent above average). Most of the heavy precipitation fell in western and southern portions of Alaska, with the interior and southeastern regions of the state receiving less precipitation. The combination of warm temperatures and lack of precipitation in interior parts of the state limited snowfall during October. The October statewide average snow cover extent was the ninth smallest in the 46-year satellite record, according to the Rutgers Global Snow Lab.

Select October Temperature Values

CityOctober 2013 Average Temperature (°F)Departure from 1981-2010 Normal (°F)
Anchorage43.08.2
Barrow24.77.5
Bethel38.27.8
Fairbanks36.111.9
McGrath38.813.5
Nome35.66.9
Valez39.47.9

Select October Precipitation Values

CityOctober 2013 Average Precipitation (inches)Departure from 1981-2010 Normal (inches)
Anchorage3.221.19
Bethel4.222.57
McGrath4.643.20
Valez17.839.59

Some information provided by climate.gov and the Alaska National Weather Service Regional Headquarters.

Additional information on the warm and wet October in Alaska is available here: