ORLANDO, Fla- – The coldest air since 2012 is invading the The Last Frontier. Friday was the coldest morning of a string of extremely cold days to affect the state. The town of Manley Hot Springs fell to a bone-chilling -65 degrees.
The NWS cooperative weather observer 15 mi northeast of Manley Hot Springs reported a low temperature of 65 degrees below zero this morning! This is the coldest official temperature in Alaska since Jan 2012, when a NWS observer in Ft. Yukon observed 66 degrees below zero. #AKWx pic.twitter.com/B0ChoKuODC— NWS Fairbanks (@NWSFairbanks) December 27, 2019
Believe it or not, 65 below doesn’t even come close to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Alaska. A temperature of -80 degrees was observed in Prospect Creek Camp, AK on January 23, 1971. That record is also the coldest for the U.S. For perspective, Florida’s coldest temperature is -2 degrees, observed in 1899 in Tallahassee.
Typically, when Alaska is brutally cold, the eastern-half of the U.S. is enjoying mild weather, which is certainly the case this time around.
When there is a dip in the jetsream over Alaska or western Canada, a ridge in the eastern U.S. allows warm air to build. The opposite happens as when Florida is shivering. The jetstream is a ribbon of fast-moving air and resides where jet aircraft fly. It is the dividing line between warm and cold air.