How dense is snow?

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The huge section of heavy old snow pictured below finally slid off the roof of our shed sometime in the middle of the night recently. Luckily, it remained jammed vertically in the snow below and did not fall against the shed. What do think it weighs? Click on the photos for a better look…it’s the […]

Alaska winter highway weather

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Driving in winter in Alaska can be interesting, to put it mildly. Driving around town is included in this statement but is certainly not like hitting the open highway, crossing vast, unpopulated areas and ascending and descending mountain passes while dealing with any combination of snow, ice, fog, white-out*, wind, extreme cold, long darkness or […]

The 500 mb pattern and the northern lights

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The 500 mb (millibar) weather map has traditionally been the bread and butter of weather forecasters. Today, with so many new, high tech tools at their fingertips, is this map still relevant? You bet! The 500 mb level of the atmosphere is simply the height at which the air pressure is 500 mb (or 50 […]

Southeast Alaska’s Dry Spot

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No, the rain gauges are not malfunctioning, (although that has happened before at some weather stations). It has been very dry in the north end of the Inside Passage. There is a natural dry pocket in this rainforest to the point of really stretching the term rainforest. This year the first part of summer has […]