Ask a Climatologist: The highs, lows and snows of Thanksgiving in Alaska

Snow piles up at Alaska Public Media in Anchorage on Jan. 23rd, 2017 (Photo by Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk)

The weather is a popular conversation topic at any Thanksgiving dinner.

So just in time for the holiday, we have a heaping serving of Thanksgiving-in-Alaska weather facts you can pass around your table along with the stuffing and potatoes.

Listen now

Brian Brettschneider, with our Ask a Climatologist segment, compiled the list.

  1. No weather station in Alaska has ever hit 60 degrees on Thanksgiving.
  2. The coldest Thanksgiving in Alaska was 1994, with an average statewide temperature of -6 degrees.
  3. The warmest Thanksgiving was 1943, with an average of 37.7 degrees.
  4. This year, Anchorage will have its first white Thanksgiving in the last six years.
  5. Fairbanks has had a white Thanksgiving every year since 1936.
  6. Juneau only has a white Thanksgiving around 30 percent of the time, but this year they have about a foot of snow, more than Anchorage or Fairbanks.
  7. The biggest snowfall on Thanksgiving was in Beaver Falls in 1950, with 28.5 inches.
  8. The greatest snow depth on Thanksgiving was in 2015 at the Chulitna River weather station, with 70 inches.
  9. The rainiest Thanksgiving was in 1969 with a statewide total of nearly 60 inches of rain.
  10. The driest Thanksgiving was in 2014 when only 1 inch of rain fell.
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Annie Feidt is the Managing Editor for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO Public Media in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace. Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49th state just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon. afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie