FAIRBANKS — More cold temperature records fell at several locations around the Interior on Tuesday morning, though not in Fairbanks, and more may fall today as the result of a cold air mass that is holding spring hostage in much of the state.
Eielson Air Force Base recorded a temperature of 22 degrees Tuesday morning, breaking the record of 26 set in 1954. The College Observatory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks had a low temperature of 21 degrees, which broke the old mark of 24 set in 1964.
In Bettles, 250 miles north of Fairbanks, the low of 11 degrees shattered the record of 22 degrees set in 1986. Galena saw a temperature of 13 degrees, breaking the record of 16 in 1965.
The low temperature of 23 degrees at Fairbanks International Airport fell 2 degrees shy of tying the record of 21 set in 1913.
The cold temperatures are the result of a cold air mass that moved into Alaska on Sunday night and that has remained over the northern part of the state for the past two days.
Record or near-record cold temperatures were expected again Tuesday night and this morning, but things should gradually begin to warm up later today, said meteorologist Ed Plumb at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. Highs today should get into the mid-40s, and high temperatures on Thursday are expected to be in the low to mid-50s.
A chinook moving through the Alaska Range could bring even warmer temperatures Friday, but they will be short-lived. More cold air is forecast to move into the area from the west Friday night, dropping the high temperatures back into the 40s during the weekend, Plumb said. The cold air mixed with the chinook could produce some rain or snow Friday night or Saturday.
The good news is that early next week it should start to warm up to more normal temperatures, which at this time of year are 60 degrees for a high and 37 for a low.
Fairbanks set a record low of 22 degrees Monday, and temperatures in many spots in the northern and western Interior failed to climb above freezing Monday. In Bettles, which set a record low of 10 degrees Monday, the high temperature was only 27 above, which was the latest occurrence ever recorded with an afternoon temperature in the 20s.
Fairbanks also set a new record for the coldest high temperature at the airport Monday with a high temperature of 37 degrees. That broke the record of 40 set in 1937.
Other record low maximum temperature records were reported at Galena (31), Tanana (34) and Eielson Air Force Base (38).
Fairbanks avoided another record cold high temperature Tuesday when the high temperature at the airport hit 40 degrees, surpassing the record of 39 degrees in 1937.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.