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 lights (there’s plenty of time to see this with days still solstice short).

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 […]

Flying through the JAWS of Southeast Alaska Weather

While waiting to board my Alaska Airlines flight from Juneau to Seattle April 9, the all-to-common announcement came over the PA about a likely weather delay. As I happened to have my laptop handy with Internet access available, I quickly checked the Juneau airport weather observations. I did not see any weather issue that would […]

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.

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 […]