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Contact: Deb Kurtz, 907-422-0544
Based on the average seasonal weather pattern for Kenai Fjords, August typically brings slightly cooler temperatures and increased rain, providing a transition away from summer conditions toward fall. However, 2012 has not mirrored the normal weather pattern perfectly, at least not in regards to this summer's precipitation. Lower than average rainfall in August resulted in a significantly lower (drier) precipitation total than the 30-year monthly normal while the average temperature for August was slightly cooler than normal. In comparison with July's record low monthly temperature and higher than average precipitation, August was slightly warmer and, surprisingly, drier than July, creating more summer-like conditions later in the season than were experienced mid-season.
As recorded at the Seward airport, total precipitation for the month was 3.11 inches (55% of normal), 2.5 inches below the August average. The monthly average temperature was 53.7 degrees F; 2 degrees F below the 30-year August average (1981-2010). August 28th was the windiest day of the month at the Seward airport with an average wind speed of 13.2 mph. Average daily winds recorded at the Seward airport remained below 10 mph for all but four days in August.
Also of note:
- The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's three month weather outlook (September-October-November) favors below normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the Kenai Fjords area.
- Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks published research on the cooling effects of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in Alaska during the first decade of the 21st century in The Open Atmospheric Science Journal.
- An unusually strong storm formed off the coast of Alaska in early August. To learn more about how this storm may have impacted the sea ice and to see satellite imagery of the storm center,click here
- Not only did the Arctic sea ice extent break the 2007 record low in August but, within days, it dropped below the 4 million square kilometers (1.54 million square miles) barrier that scientists predicted would not be exceeded.
- NOAA climate services portal serves as a single point-of-entry for NOAA's extensive climate information, data, products, services, and the climate science magazine ClimateWatch.