From the ABC 7 Weather team

-60 in Alaska this morning! Startling January climate facts

January 30, 2012 - 09:54 AM
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With temperatures in the 60s again this week, where has the cold air been?

You just HAVE to check this out, Fort Yukon, Alaska hit -60°F for the second day in a row! The warmest it has been there in the past 3 days in -35°F with the coldest being -62°F. That is just incredible, and pretty much the story of the month. Cold air has been in place in Alaska and Canada for much of the month. There just hasn't been any help to displace any of that cold air south into the lower 48.

Temperatures as of 10am Jan. 30

I was looking through some of the climate data from Alaska and the lower 48 and some huge differences can be seen. Parts of Alaska are seeing temperature departures for the MONTH over 15 degrees below normal. For instance, Nome, Alaska (go to Preliminary Monthly Climate Data) is 21 degrees below normal for the month. The average temperature there has been -15.7°F. Fairbanks, Alaska is 17.7 degrees below normal for the month, averaging a bone chilling -25.8°F. They have also had the most -40°F days (must read!) since 1971 and only 3 January's since 1906 have had more days below -40.

What about the lower 48? While Alaska has been in the freezer for the month, the rest of the country has been at or above normal. Many areas have been well above normal as well. Take the Dakotas for instance. Grand Forks and Fargo, ND have been over 9.5 degrees above normal for the month and Sioux Falls, SD has been over 6.5 degrees above normal for the month. Here in D.C., we've also seen our fair share of warm weather as we sit over 4.5 degrees above normal for the month. The only areas in the U.S. below normal that I could find were in the Pacific Northwest.

Eastern Europe Cold Snap: Parts of Europe have seen some extreme cold over the weekend with parts of Serbia and Poland reaching the negative digits. There has been a report of 36 people killed so far from the extreme cold over Eastern Europe. This hasn't been the case through the month though, as temperatures have been at or above normal until this recent cold snap. Temperatures appear like they will remain in the 20s and Teens for the rest of the week in Belgrade.

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