Coldest day in three years for Southcentral
Anchorage dropped to -10 degrees Sunday morning, making this the coldest morning since January 19th, 2017.
The official recording station for Anchorage is at Ted Stevens International Airport, which under our current weather pattern, also happens to be on the warmer side of town. The east side of Anchorage has been much colder with low temperatures down as low as -14 degrees at Merrill Field and down to -20 in Eagle River. Temperatures also dropped to 20 below in Kenai and -23 in Wasilla. The coldest spot in Southcentral though was Talkeetna, where the temperature dropped to -32 degrees Sunday.
On average, we see 2-4 days each January with temperatures this cold, but not recently. The last time it got down below -10 in Anchorage or -32 in Talkeetna was back in 2017. Before that, you have to go back to 2013.
The coldest spot in the state was McGrath, where the temperature fell to -47° early Sunday. That is more than 30 degrees below normal for McGrath, but not a record. Back in 1997, the temperature dropped to -58 degrees on January 5th.
The last three nights all came with sub-zero temperatures and we'll likely at least three more days to this cold snap.
A deep trough of low pressure is keeping a very cold air mass in place across most of Alaska. The counter-clockwise flow around low pressure is keeping us in this pattern of off-shore flow with our upper-level winds out of the north.
This area of low pressure and the cold-air mass that comes with it will stay in place through the middle part of next week. Eventually, by next weekend, we'll see a return to onshore flow bringing in warmer air from the south, but only enough to bring our temperatures up to around 5 degrees overnight and 15 during the day.
Until then, enjoy the sunshine and stay warm!
-Chief Meteorologist Melissa Frey