Termination dust waits for no one

When I moved to Alaska in 1982, I was a real cheechako. I did not even know what termination dust was. The term was never mentioned in meteorology school. It does not appear in the meteorology glossaries of the NWS, American Meteorological Society or the Weather Channel, nor is it in Wikipedia. Back then it […]

The (literally freezing) cold Alaskan summer continues

The cold, cloudy, wet weather has been with Alaskans since May, with a only a few short breaks here and there. Here’s a recent example from the usually warmish Copper River Basin: A rainy day Wednesday in Glennallen (wx data from close-by Gulkana–that’s where the airport and weather station are for the Glennallen area) with […]

Summer 2012 forecast for Alaska

After a particularly nasty winter, Alaskans usually hope for a nice summer to erase the memories. Actually, a lot of Alaskan’s do that after every winter.  Well, we are just finishing up (or still waiting for the end of, depending on what part of Alaska you live in)  a very tough winter in most parts […]

Cold Spring in Alaska

If you have been waiting to see some statistics on how our winter of 2011-2012 rated compared to climate history, or if you were hoping for a long range forecast (educated guess) for the summer of 2012, stay tuned, I am working on both. I’ve been preoccupied with getting the 2013 Alaska Weather Calendar printed […]

Iditasnow update & more snow rollers

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 […]

Not the last great Alaska snow race

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 […]

Why Fairbanks cold snaps aren’t what they used to be

It’s been a cold winter across most of Alaska. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last. During every winter there are relatively colder and warmer periods. This year these cold snaps and warm spells seem to be aligned pretty well to the calendar months: November was cold, December warm, and January…one of […]

The highly channeled winds of coastal Alaska

Alaska is a big place, and the weather system affecting our state right now is even bigger, but I’m going to show you that is it the small scale that counts when it comes to winds of the south and southeast coasts. As I write this, virtually the whole state is under the influence of […]

Polar low blasts the Pribilof Islands

Polar lows are small, somewhat elusive, and usually quite potent…cool stuff for weather watchers. They are small compared to their more common, mid-latitude big brother lows, up to a few hundred miles across, compared to a thousand or more miles across for the later. They are more like the size of hurricanes. For that reason, […]