Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The frost is so glittery, and the sun so bright in December

I think last night has been the coldest so far, yet only -2° is acceptable when you consider the interior recently posted -50°. It is also ok considering we still are lucky to have no wind in Glacier Valley. I heard a couple of private planes go out for a flight see. This morning it is still -2° and we anticipate about +5 today. Again a reminder for those relying on your iphone weather apps–it is not accurate! Yes it is cold but not as cold as the app says. One day I will email whoever that is and tell them to use another station location. 

The drive into Anchorage today, at about 1pm, was spectacular once again. I hope I am not the only one that notices every time I drive the Seward the experience is different, not just the traffic, but the light and colors. Today there were patches of clouds and bright sunlight between. The sun was lighting up all the ice crystals on the trees, rocks, and even the road. It was like driving through a crystal tunnel! Notice I said even on the road there were ice crystals. This is a point to say that even though the road looks clear and we have not had precipitation in about two weeks, there is still ice on the road creating slick conditions. Take care when driving, passing, and rounding bends. Here is a close-up of the frost crystals with light on them so the sparkle effect is visible. Imagine this over and over glittering along the road side.

On the drive home, at 9:30 pm, there were patches of light clouds separated by views of the stars. Again on the drive home, the frost crystals were lit up by headlights. At night, though, it felt like driving through a glitter tunnel, disco night! The slight chance of snow proved true at Bird Point. At Bird there were light flurries of what I consider ice snow. The precipitation was glittery in the headlights too, not dull white like snow would be, but shiny. It was, after all, -2°. The snow was gone before Girdwood but the snowmaking machines on the mountain created an ice fog around itself. When there is ice fog, the spotlights create horizontal light rays, this was evident in oncoming headlights on the Seward. Another reason I felt the snow was more ice. 

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