Wind and cold, calm and colder

After a very warm end to 2023, 2024 has taken quite a turn to the cold side in Southeast Alaska, and there are some interesting meteorology lessons in this cold snap. The cold weather in Southeast Alaska the past few days leads me to compare it to usually much colder places in Alaska. For instance, […]

Wet, windy warm front sweeps Southeast Alaska

It’s not often that the warmest time of the day is early in the morning, but that was the surprising fact at many locations in Alaska’s panhandle today. A small but potent low with a defined push of warm air on its eastern flank (the warm front) moved north last night and during the early […]

Heavy roof snow loads

There has been a lot of snow this winter in many parts of Alaska. Here are some maps of snow depth from the Alaska River Forecast Center. Keep in mind many are from remote automated stations, some at high elevation. Fairbanks and other parts of the interior were hit hard over the Christmas holiday with […]

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 the airport, where on the 20th it did not quite make it to 70, but it did at the slightly warmer climate station, so that’s where the 13 days is).

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 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 […]