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May 30: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The June outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center calls for slightly increased chances for below normal temperatures for the month as a whole over most of the region, except for the Bering Strait and inland and northern Seward Peninsula. In these areas neither above or below normal average temperatures for the month are favored.

This is primarily due to the colder than average sea surface temperatures present in the northern and eastern Bering Sea. As for June total precipitation across the area, there’s no tilt in the odds towards above or below normal.

For reference, normal average temperature for June in Nome is 48 degrees. Over the past 117 years temperatures have ranged from 20 degrees in 1931 to 86 and 2013.

Average precipitation is around an inch, that’s only slightly higher than May but it’s less than half of the July and August normals. Accumulating snow in June at low elevations is unusual, except in the Bering Strait and on St. Lawrence Island early in the month.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.