Long run of “just right” weather in SE Alaska

Thirteen days in a row with highs in the 70s F (21-26 C) (but not hotter) in southeast Alaska is quite notable. This is what just ended in Haines, and close to it in Petersburg and Wrangell. This graph shows the nice consistent dirunal (day-night) pattern of clear weather at Haines. (The data is from […]

Alaska weather on a wild roller coaster

We’ve been on this roller coaster before, but recent heat in southern Southeast Alaska took us to new heights. Sunday, January 14th saw many records broken around SE including a new record high for any January temperature in any place in Alaska with reliable records. The new record of 66 F (18.7 C) was set […]

Why does the snow sparkle so?

Lately around here we’ve been blessed with decent snow cover. A nice change from the last two winters. Nice fresh show that stays fresh thanks to lack of warm surges. To add to the beautiful scene, the snow has had lots of sparkles of light reflecting off the surface from the bright moon or nearby […]

Precipitation patterns & perceptions

Of all the weather elements, precipitation seems the most chaotic when it comes to spatial and temporal patterns. In reality, I think wind is probably more variable over both time and distance, but I guess we must understand that, since we don’t talk about it nearly as much as peculiar precipitation patterns such as long […]

happy skier

Celebrating the end of the snow drought

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, […]

Alaska weather on a roller coaster

Back into the freezer The strong “January thaw” that pushed well into the interior and tied the all time January record for Alaska is being pushed toward the back of our memories by seasonal and colder weather. Boy, it feels colder after a long warm spell! Wind chills here in northern Southeast Alaska are bouncing […]

Two kinds of cold in Alaska

Dry cold, wet cold?   no. Winter cold and summer cold?  no. Bitterly cold vs extremely cold?  no. Calm vs windy cold? close. All these would make good blog subjects, but what I’m thinking about today is domestic cold vs imported cold. Seriously. I have a good recent example.

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 […]

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 […]

Wind Driven Snow Rollers

My tips for witnessing unusual, interesting or simply beautiful weather phenomena have always included spending as much time as possible outdoors and keeping your eyes up, as in looking up at the sky often. A couple days ago I found some unusual weather down at my feet. Snow rollers! My other advice is to always […]