January finishes with little snowfall at sea level, but plenty higher up

Skiers might have had a good time at Eaglecrest, but the first month of the year didn’t bring many flakes at sea level.

Alaska’s capital city finished January with only 3.6 inches of snow, the eighth-lowest tally since recordkeeping began at the airport in 1936.

The record low was tied last year, which had only a trace of snow in January.

At higher elevations, more snow was recorded, because even though the month didn’t bring much snow at sea level, it was plenty wet. Airport measurements indicated 6.27 inches of precipitation (rain and melted snow); that figure was 0.92 inches above normal.

Colder temperatures above sea level turned more of that precipitation into snow.

More than half the month’s precipitation fell in a four-day span, Jan. 13-16.

Other than the lack of snow at sea level, January’s winds may have been the most notable weather event to start the new year.

In the weather service’s summary of the month, it reported: “High wind warnings were issued for various portions of the panhandle on six different occasions, with the first on the 5th of January and the last on the 27th of the month. In addition to these high wind events, there were numerous times where strong wind gusts of 40 mph or greater impacted the region.”

Temperatures during the month averaged 29.8 degrees, 1.5 degrees above normal.

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