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The Winter That Isn’t

February 19, 2015

This winter in Anchorage has been awful. We’ve had unseasonably high temperatures paired with incredibly low snow fall.

2014 had zero days below zero, which has never happened before. This is our second winter in Alaska, and both have been less than ideal.

This week, my hometown of Mt. Holly, NC had colder weather at times than Anchorage. When I was speaking to my mom on the phone Tuesday, it was 45 degrees in Anchorage and 25 degrees in Mt. Holly. Even better: they received snow on Monday and Wednesday of this week.

Water in the roads on Feb 17, 2015

Water in the roads on Feb 17, 2015

The local ski resort, Alyeska, actually had to delay their opening day because of the lack of snow, and they’ve had to use snow-producing machines the entire season. Conditions have been icy.

This is our second winter, and they’ve both been eerily similar in these crappy conditions. The Iditarod is just around the corner, and people are getting nervous.

Last years race was the fastest ever run, with many racers scratching out due to injury. Snow creates friction, which is necessary to help keep the sleds grounded and prevent the dogs from pulling too fast.

With this years race, the start has already been moved from Willow, AK (outside of Anchorage) to Fairbanks, AK.


2015 Iditarod race route


Obviously it’s a huge deal that Anchorage (and most of Alaska, actually) is having such an unusual winter. The warmth means ice isn’t forming, limiting polar bears hunting grounds. Personally I haven’t been able to use my cross-country skis, & Matt hasn’t gotten a chance to use his pass for the Alyeska resort. It’s made this winter miserable: too slushy to ride our bikes without studs, not snowy/icy enough to do a winter sport. The cooling and warming has made our backyard a hideous and frozen mess.

Something very strange that I’ve noticed is a lot of national media coverage about all of the snow happening in the Lower 48. I agree, it is astounding how much snow the NorthEast has gotten, and the fact that Chicago has been experiencing a snow-maggedon of sorts as well. But I have yet to see anything from a major media outlet talking about the weather in Alaska: which is equally as astounding. The fact that we don’t have over 50″ of snow right now is concerning. The fact that it was 15 degrees above the average high on Tuesday concerns me. The fact that Wasilla, Alaska had squat amount of snow last week.

Wasilla Lake, Feb 12, 2015

Wasilla Lake, Feb 12, 2015

I don’t have any wise words on how to address what is happening here. I don’t know what can be done.

I would just like to see the Lower 48 aware that the weather is messed up across the ENTIRE US, not just the contiguous states.

How has the weather been where you live? Typical or atypical for the time of year?



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