As record cold gripped much of the eastern U.S. in January, Alaska was unusually warm.
The image below shows how warm the month was for the state of Alaska compared to average temperatures.
NASA Earth Observatory says "based on data from theModerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite, the map shows how 2014 temperatures compared to the 2001–2010 average for the same week. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the base period are blue. Gray indicates oceans or areas where clouds blocked the satellite from collecting usable data."
The warm temperatures led to damaging avalanches, one of which cut off the road leading into the city of Valdez.
A few Alaska weather stations recorded highs as much as 40° above average on some January days, according to Weather Underground's Christopher Bart.
Plus on January 27th, Port Alsworth tied the all-time monthly record high of 62°.
The warm weather also melted snow and ice, raising river levels.
On January 25th, NASA's Aqua satellite collected this below image of sediment flowing into the Gulf of Alaska.
The grayish color in the water is that sediment mixing into the Gulf waters.
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