WOAH! It's warmer in Alaska? "Chill" out...
We always know Alaska to have a very cold climate, in comparison to ours. Oftentimes, when the south becomes cold - you see folks comparing our temperature to a city like Anchorage. Don't get me wrong...it's cool to compare! However, in this case - I'll show you why it might not be the best comparison.
Now at 10 AM EST, it was 19° in the Tri-Cities but 34° in Anchorage. For them, that's abnormally warm this time of year. Their average morning temperature is 12° in early January.
When it's abnormally cold here, though, it's usually abnormally warm on The Last Frontier. Think of the atmosphere as a wave.
If we have a dip in our wave, referred to as a trough, then there has to be a rise in the wave somewhere else that helps contribute to our dip. Troughs will typically bring colder and perhaps more unsettled weather.
The rise in the wave is referred to as a ridge, which typically leads to drier and warmer weather. When we have deep troughs that send us into cold spells, the western half of the US (including Alaska) usually sees drier and warmer weather.
That's why we see Alaska as being warmer than us, Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, etc. When our part of the wave dips, so do the temperatures. When their part of the wave rises, so do their temperatures. It's actually pretty common!