FAIRBANKS - Subzero temperatures are expected to arrive in Fairbanks tonight, making an appearance about a week earlier than during a typical year.
The average first day of below-zero temperatures at Fairbanks International Airport is Oct. 28, according to the National Weather Service. A possible dip below zero was projected overnight Sunday, but forecaster Ed Plumb said it’s likely it will occur today if temperatures haven’t reached that benchmark already.
“It’s definitely possible, and the chances look pretty good (tonight),” he said.
Temperatures at the airport have crept closer to zero lately, with 3-degree overnight readings on both Friday and Saturday. Plumb said a blanket of low cloud cover kept the temperature from dipping lower. Some outlying areas have already reached the milestone — Eielson Air Force Base was at 5 below Sunday morning.
The earliest occurrence of zero or colder temperatures at the official Fairbanks weather station was on Oct. 3, recorded in 1909. The latest recorded date was on Nov. 22, 1926.
The dipping temperatures this week probably won’t be accompanied by any significant snow. Plumb said the entire state is expected to be in a dry weather pattern this week, with only occasional flurries in the Interior. The earliest that significant power could arrive is on Friday, although Plumb said it’s possible the no-snow pattern could continue through next weekend.
Fairbanks International Airport has received 4.2 inches of snow so far this month, with the permanent snowpack established on Oct. 15.
Another week without snow would keep the area well below average for the month. The typical October snowfall in Fairbanks is 10.8 inches, Plumb said.