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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published December 18 2013

Weather Talk: Relationship of opposites for F-M and Fairbanks, Alaska

During the first half of December, when we were chilled by weather 15 to 30 degrees below average, people in Fairbanks, Alaska, were enjoying weather 15 to 30 degrees above average.

For perspective, that meant highs near zero and lows in the negative teens for us but highs in the 20s and low 30s in Fairbanks.

This week, everything switched as we enjoyed temperatures in the 20s and 30s while people in Fairbanks watched their thermometers sink to 40 below.

This relationship of opposites is common, especially in winter. When our weather is very cold, it has usually come from Alaska or somewhere near Alaska, where the typically frigid air has been displaced by milder air from somewhere south or southwest of Alaska.

When our weather is mild, the pattern has shifted and allowed Alaska weather to go cold again.


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