2001 was warmer and wetter than average

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2002

Juneau was a little soggier and a little warmer during 2001, according to the National Weather Service.

The year was about 1 degree warmer than usual, with an average temperature of 42.1 degrees. The coldest days registered 6 degrees on March 21 and Dec. 2, forecaster Michael Mitchell said.

Rainfall was 5 inches above normal, and "it took a long time to fall," he said, with 256 days showing measurable rainfall. Total rainfall at the Juneau Airport for the year was 59.43 inches.

In the Mendenhall Valley, there were 74 inches of rainfall and 78.1 inches of snow.

It was a windy year, with several days of peak gusts in the upper 50s downtown, Mitchell said. The official peak wind downtown was 64 miles per hour measured at the Federal Building on Oct. 26. The official peak elsewhere in the Juneau area was 67 mph on Nov. 28 at the rock dump near Thane Road.

The final month of the year, December, brought snow. There were 14 days of measurable snow, falling mostly at a rate of an inch a day. However, on Dec. 20, 6.2 inches fell at the airport in a 24-hour period. At the Weather Service office near the Mendenhall Glacier, 37.3 inches of snow fell during the month. Snow at the airport was "fairly significant," with 25.2 inches.

Overall, the month was slightly warmer than normal by about 1.9 degrees, Mitchell said. However, a cold period that began Dec. 1 continued through Dec. 20, with numerous days below freezing. Starting Christmas week, things warmed up, reaching a high for the month of 44 degrees Dec. 27. The snow that had accumulated at lower elevations was washed away by Christmas Day.

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