Time for a quick climate update. A batch of warm weather may not prove anything, even in the Far North, where the looming afternoon outlook is almost always colder, darker, snowier, icier and rainier than anyone can remember. (If you don’t believe me, just mutter to a random stranger in Anchorage — “Man, the weather sure seems weird” — and stand back.)

Still, the weather in Barrow has been downright balmy. As University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Martha Shulski points out in the latest climate news from the Alaska Climate Research Center, it’s been one of the warmest Octobers on record for America’s most northern town.

The average temperature of 23.4 °F was almost 9 °F warmer than normal and ranks in the top 10 warmest Octobers. … The average high temperature was 26 °F, about 7° above average, and the average low temperature was 20 °F, almost 11 °F above average.

Blame the Chukchi Sea, still largely unfrozen after the most extensive meltback in modern history. The rest of the state has been mixed, says Shulski.

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