Juneau Airport sets new cold temperature record


Above: Tuesday morning, a National Weather Service Juneau employee was able to catch sea smoke coming off the water in the Tongass National Forest in the back of the Mendenhall Valley. (Photo courtesy of NWSJ)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – It was a cold morning Tuesday around Southeast with many areas dipping into the teens and 20s.

Meteorologist with National Weather Service Juneau Grant Smith said it was so cold that the Juneau International Airport set a new daily record for Oct. 24.

It was 18° at the airport Tuesday morning, breaking the old record of 19° set in 1951.

Smith also commented on other areas that tied or beat their Oct. 24 record.

“Auke Bay bottomed out at 24° degrees, which ties their old record. Elfin Cove was able to break their record, they bottomed out at 28°, which breaks the old record at 29°. Gustavus bottomed out at 16°. Hoonah bottomed out at 25°. Both of those tied their old records,” he said. “Then Pelican and Thorne Bay also broke some records. Pelican bottomed out at 25°, which broke the old record of 26°. And Thorne Bay bottomed out at 24°, which beats their old record of 25°.”

Smith also broke down NOAA’s federal forecast of the upcoming El Niño winter.

“Normally, during an El Niño pattern that brings us above normal temperatures averaged out. It’s gonna be averaged out over the whole three months of winter. So, normally above normal temperatures,” he said. “It really has no impact on the amounts of precip’. So, because of that, you would think we would lean to getting less snow. But that’s not a hard rule there.”

He added that Juneau’s snowiest year on record happened during an El Niño winter, so, they’ll just have to see how it averages out this year.

As for the sea smoke seen Tuesday morning, Smith said that it was a type of fog.

“It just happens to be really low, typically found really low, close to very calm water, and it kind of floats there until the temperature warms up and fades out,” he said.