Thursday, November 25, 2010

Freezing Rain to Snow

After some warm temperatures and freezing rain, it's finally snowing again!  Not a whole lot, though: about 4" with maybe a little more to come.  Looks like about the same amount or a little more in Anchorage.  Skiing today at Alyeska was kind of awkward, with about 4-5" new snow on top of an icy base.  It wasn't terrible, but wasn't great either.  I was definitely rusty and fell a few times.  The Chair 6 bowl (upper mountain) was open, but there were a lot of hazards including a lot of glide cracks, which are basically like crevasses that you really don't want to fall in.  Below is a webcam shot of Anchorage late this afternoon.

The ice storm earlier this week was a big deal.  In the Interior in places like Fairbanks, it was roughly a once a generation event.  Big ice storms are not common in Alaska.  School was out for several days in Anchorage and Fairbanks.  For Anchorage and for me in Girdwood, it was more like a once a year or once every two year event.  In most places, the ice accumulation was far heavier on the roads than on the trees and power lines.  This was because temperatures during the event rose to near or just above freezing, but the ground was slower to warm than the tree branches and remained below freezing.  Thus, we had, especially on side streets, freezing rain with temperatures above freezing.  I noticed when browsing the FAA webcams that Ruby did have significant ice accumulation on the trees.  Check out the Ruby webcam below with the trees leaning over.  I noticed when looping the cam that some of the trees fell.  Ruby is in the Interior along the Yukon River west of Fairbanks, in "Bush Alaska".  The Iditarod goes through there every other year (not this year).  Perhaps that's fortunate, given that there may be a lot of trees down on the trail.
Ruby, AK.  Notice how much the trees are leaning over.

Ballaine Rd in Fairbanks (not my photo).  Notice all the cars (and a school bus) off the road.

1 comment:

  1. Flood watch for the lower Kuskokwim Rvr. Reports of breakup due to the 2.5 inches of rain Mcgrath got this week. Pretty early breakup this year.
    -Dave Percy