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Accu weather flight forecasters
Staff Sgt. Drew Haight uses a Kestrel 4000 weather monitoring device determining wind speed, barometric pressure and temperature outside Feb. 25. Airmen of the 354th Operation Support Squadron weather flight constantly monitor and predict future weather conditions and compile that information into a daily report for the base pilots' morning briefings. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder)
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Weather unique to interior Alaska

Posted 2/26/2008   Updated 2/27/2008 Email story   Print story


by compiled from staff reports
354th Operations Support Squadron weather flight

2/26/2008 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Anyone who has lived in the Alaskan interior for at least a year knows that it is one of the most dynamic--and at times--punishing environments in the world.

The following is a small collection of Eielson's extreme weather records and other interesting weather trivia. How much do you know about Alaska's weather?

Is Eielson located in an arctic, marsh, or desert region? Surprisingly, the answer is a desert region. Climatically, a region is categorized by the yearly rainfall of an area, and with slightly less than 10 inches of rainfall in a year, Eielson is in fact, considered a desert.

What is the coldest temperature ever recorded at Eielson?
Negative 64 degrees in January 1971. At negative 64 degrees, with winds of just five mph, the wind chill would cause it to feel like negative 88 degrees!

What is the warmest temperature ever recorded at Eielson Air Force Base? In June of 1969 the temperature soared to 93 degrees. Not exactly Arizona but with no air conditioning, the pool must have been standing room only. For those of you who may be trying to do the math in their head, that is a difference of 157 degrees between our record high and low temperatures.

Fun Fact: Let's compare Eielson's extreme temperatures to that of Langley Air Force Base, Va. Langley's record lowest temperature is a cozy negative 4 degrees, that's 60 degrees warmer than Eielson's coldest temperature. The record high temperature for Langley is 105 degrees, which is only a mere 12 degrees higher than Eielson's record high.

What is the highest wind speed ever recorded at Eielson? In December 1951, a wind speed of 64 knots (73 mph) was recorded, that's only two mph short of a category one hurricane.

What causes the aurora borealis? Solar winds carry plasma ejected from the sun, which interacts or causes a collision of charged particles with the earth's upper atmosphere, creating the visual display. Through constant monitoring of the sun's surface, forecasting the intensity of the aurora is possible up to three days in advance. Active auroras have been observed on other planets including Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.

What is the phone number you can call to get Eielson's daily weather forecast? 377-6127; The base weather station updates the call-in forecast line three times per day, seven days a week. The forecast covers: The low and high temperature, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, expected precipitation and snow accumulation.

Those are just a few of many interesting facts about Alaskan weather. The ability to flourish in Eielson's arctic climate is a testament to all who serve here. Our mission is one of support and training that keeps our borders safe and our Air Force pilots the best in the world.

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