FAIRBANKS — March was both warmer and colder than normal, and that contrast set a new record, according to the National Weather Service.
The sunny month brought mild days with an average high temperature of 25 degrees, slightly above the normal.
However, the clear skies also pushed down night-time temperatures, so the average low was 11 degrees below zero, well below normal.
“The spread of 36 degrees between the average high and average low is the largest for any month of record in Fairbanks,” the service said in a monthly weather summary issued Friday.
Overall, the average temperature for March was 7.2 degrees, 4 degrees colder than the normal average for the month.
The cold nights created another curious statistic, the service reported. As of the end of March, the 2010-11 winter had seen 61 days with temperatures of 20 below or lower. That’s the most since the winter of 1975-76.
Clear weather in March meant little snowfall. A
28-day streak without precipitation, from late February through March 26, was the third-longest since 1930.
April brings breakup to Interior Alaska, as the average temperature climbs well above freezing by month’s end and possible sunshine extends to almost 17 hours.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has forecast above normal precipitation for the month, which is typically the Interior’s driest. The NOAA center also forecast a slightly greater chance of below normal temperatures for this month.