- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Interior Alaska residents are packing on their parkas after bone-chilling cold disrupted what had been a mostly mild winter.

Fairbanks residents awoke Monday to temperatures in the minus 40s. That was balmy compared with Granite Creek near Delta Junction, where the temperature hit minus 55, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures of 40 below zero occur every year in Fairbanks, but the cold snap represents the most frigid temperatures this winter.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District scaled back after-school activities when the temperature by noon failed to rise above minus 42, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (https://bit.ly/1zroqHc) reported.

Alaska Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the agency sent out sanding trucks but idled plows to protect them from breaking down.

Coldfoot, a truck stop 180 miles north of Fairbanks and 60 miles above the Arctic Circle, recorded a reading of 53 below zero. Bookkeeper Kate Zielinski said she’s seen colder.

“About three years ago, we had minus 72 here at Coldfoot,” Zielinski said. “It’s funny. This is not too far from normal. Because we haven’t had any cold weather this winter, everyone is complaining about it.”

Huslia, Bettles, Fort Greely and Arctic Village reported temperatures in the lower 50s below zero.

Fort Wainwright Army Post recorded a reading of minus 48, but many soldiers missed it. They’re in California for training in preparation for a deployment.

Forecasters had predicted milder-than-normal temperatures for January.

“I don’t think the weather got the notice,” said National Weather Service forecaster Lindsay Tardif-Huber.

The cold should linger for another day or so, she said.

“We’re going to see a slow, gradual warming trend into the weekend,” Tardif-Huber said.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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