Summer in Alaska: Generally, and for 2011

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, at least from the astronomer’s point of view. From the climatologist’s perspective, the start of summer is a little more subjective, but the months of June, July and August are generally accepted as defining summer. […]

Alaska Winter of 2010-2011 Review

Everybody has an impression of how the winter turned out, but what do the numbers say? Was the long-range prediction for the winter I made in November at all accurate? Well, the impression expressed by most folks here in Haines, in the northern panhandle, is that is was a very cold winter. Looking at the […]

Good Cloud Days

Some days have boring clouds, or worse yet*, no clouds. Others I call good cloud days, because of the interesting, and often fast-changing, cloudscapes. Here are some of photos of a few of good cloud days I’ve experienced recently. I hope you appreciate the clouds you see, not just for their beauty but for the […]

Is Winter Over?

About this time of year, most Alaskans are thinking about Spring with every other brain cycle. Old timers will often say “If you put that snow shovel away now you’re just asking for a big dump of snow.” Are these late season dumps a likely reality, or do the few that have happen just stick […]

Heavy Freezing Spray on Lynn Canal

The marine forecast has been calling for heavy freezing spray quite a bit the last few weeks, and here is a graphic example of what they are talking about: This is not the Bering Sea, this is Lynn Canal in the “protected” Inside Passage of southeast Alaska! The crabber Perseverance, home port Sitka, pictured above […]

A Far West Alaskan Blizzard

I probably blog too much about Southeast Alaska (it’s where I live), so for this post I’m going as far away from SE as one can go and still be in Alaska. Lets look at what Shemya, near the far western end of the Aleutians, and Barrow, on the peak of Alaska’s roof (and points […]

What’s the Snow Level?

The simple answer: It’s the elevation above which any precipitation is expected to be snow, and below which, rain. It is interesting that the term is not found in the NWS online glossary nor in the AMS’s online glossary nor in their printed version, Glossary of Weather and Climate. It is, nonetheless, a […]

Snow Talk

There’s a lot of talk about snow this winter, which makes it just like any winter in Alaska, or say Washington or Massachusetts. If your ski trail looks like the one on the left then the talk’s going to sound pretty down. If it looks like the one on the right, then you’re probably pretty […]

Astronomy Weather

While I find clouds fascinating, there is nothing like the clear blue sky, and when the sky is clear in Alaska, and especially Southeast Alaska, it is very clear and very blue thanks to the clean air. This photo was taken on the 17th from Haines looking across Lynn Canal at Santa Claus Mt. (can […]

What Do(es) the Coming Winter(s) Have in Store for Alaska?

When tourists see my Alaska Weather Calendar a certain percentage chuckle and ask “is is accurate?” What they’re assuming is that I’m forecasting the weather for the entire next year (almost a two year forecast since I print the calendars the spring previous to the calendar year). They liken it to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. […]