While some folks back east may have been mightily inconvenienced by recent snows, here in Alaska most people like to see a little snow in the winter. This winter many of us have seen very little. Here in Haines, one of the snowiest sea level towns anywhere, things were looking pretty brown until last week, when we got almost a foot of nice light snow. You could almost hear the relief around town, as folks got back into the swing of snow removal, or dusted off their skis. My family did both, plus made a batch of snow ice cream. (Never made snow ice cream? Strangely, as a meteorologist, Alaskan, skier, etc, I’d not even heard of it for my first 20-some years in Alaska! I was going do a whole post on snow ice cream but discovered it’s not the novelty I thought it was…just Google it.) (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘snowfall’
Since the leap day checkpoint report, most towns have slowed their snowfall pace. Haines and Yakutat, however, have been running hard, each having added an impressive 50 inches this first half of March.
The Top Ten as of 15 March
|place||town||total through 3/15||% of average||% of record||current depth|
|1||Haines||357.1” (9.08 meters)||243||116||61” (1.55 m)|
|2||Yakutat||313.3 (7.97)||218||78||85 (2.16)|
|3||Kodiak||134.9 (3.43)||196||84||12 (0.31)|
|4||Barrow||65.0 (1.65)||172||83||13 (0.33)|
|5||Anchorage||129.4 (3.29)||158||97||34 (0.86)|
|7||Haines Customs||342.6 (8.72)||131||93||95 (2.42)|
|8||Valdez||426.0 (10.84)||131||76||87 (2.21)|
|8||Kotzebue||78.1 (1.99)||131||65||54 (1.37)|
|10||Cold Bay||87.7 (2.23)||120||76||23 (0.59)|
Remember, the standings are based on snowfall this season compared to the station’s average yearly snowfall. (No, I did not come up with this rating scheme to just to put Haines in the lead). (more…)
Today is the start of the world famous Iditarod trail sled dog race (“the last great race”), so I thought maybe I should give an report on another (unofficial) great race: the Alaska snow race. It has been a very snowy winter in many parts of Alaska and there is plenty of talk and a little bragging and comparing between towns, so why not make a little fun of it? In no way am I wanting to make light of the real hardships experienced in places like Cordova and Valdez, where schools were closed for more than an isolated “snow day” due to fears of structural failure of school buildings, among other problems. Believe me, I understand the issue of dealing with tons of snow, since I live in one of the major league snow towns (Haines). What I want to do is compare details of a longer list of places facing heavy snow this winter, and look at why. First the standings, as of the leap day checkpoint: units are inches for snow and feet for elevation.
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 same berg from opposite ends.
It would not be hard to estimate the weight of this thing if we knew its density. And you might want to know the density your snow for a variety of reasons. One of the more common reasons is to figure if the weight of the snow might damage something. Check out the scene from our school a couple weeks ago: (more…)