For the first time since 1942, the National Weather Service measured no sea-level snow in Juneau.
According to measurements collected at Juneau International Airport, only a trace of snow was recorded between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31. That’s more than two feet below normal; in an average year, Juneau receives 27.7 inches of snow at the airport. January is normally Juneau’s snowiest month.
The month wasn’t a dry one – 6.53 inches of rain fell at the airport, 1.18 inches above normal – but warm weather kept that rain from turning into snow.
Last year was the warmest on record in Juneau, and the trend continued into the first month of 2016. According to Weather Service measurements, January’s average temperature of 34.9 degrees was 6.6 degrees above normal for the airport, making it the ninth-warmest January on records dating back to 1936.
At higher elevations, cooler temperatures allowed snowfall, sometimes significant. At the base of Eaglecrest Ski Area, temperatures averaged 32.1 degrees, and 5.3 inches of snow was recorded. At the top of the ski area, temperatures averaged 29.2 degrees, and 61.2 inches of snow was recorded.
Since the start of the winter, Juneau has seen 32.9 inches of snow at sea level. In a normal winter, the capital city has seen 57.2 inches of snow by Feb. 2. Last year, which appeared to be on track for a low-snow record until a February storm, the city had seen 28.4 inches by Feb. 1.