It snowed in Fairbanks, Alaska, yesterday, but not in time for Halloween. Fairbanks had no measurable snow on the ground on October 31 for the fourth consecutive year following 75 consecutive years of a "white Halloween."

Fairbanks residents had grown fond of stuffing those Jack-O-Lantern-colored leaf bags with snow as a joke for Halloween. The Land of the Midnight Sun is known for its long and frigid winters, but the weather has been unusually warm across Alaska for most of the past five years.

Winter cold spells of -40 degrees and lower (day and night), once a common feature of central Alaskan winters, have become rare. Winter has been starting weeks later than average.

This fall, ocean surface temperatures have been running around 10 degrees warmer than the 30-year average. The decrease of summer sea ice and warming of Arctic climate in recent years has been well-documented, but the warm anomaly has been sharply focused in and around Alaska.

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