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Continuity and change: A century of Alaska weather and climate

Date and Time:

1222 Cowles Street
(Raven Landing Center, 1222 Cowles Street, across from the Noel Wein Public Library)

Rick Thoman's Photo
Rick Thoman
Climate Science and Services Manager
National Weather Service Alaska Region

Systematic weather and climate observations started much later in Alaska than in the Lower 48. However, thanks to four generations of dedicated professional and volunteer observers we have a robust weather and climate record that extends beyond living memory. The story from this century of records is a fascinating tale of both change and continuity. On the North Slope, autumns are warming so fast that computers monitoring temperatures thought the measurements were unreal and excluded the data from their reports. While growing seasons are lengthening in many areas, in some places there is no trend. Today dramatic weather events make national headlines, but high-impact weather has always been a regular part of Alaskans’ lives. In this talk, we'll take a stroll through the past and come away with a sense of what's different and what's similar today, and how this might help us plan for Alaska's future.