Thursday, December 20, 2012

No wind in Glacier Valley, just beautiful blue skies

-2° at 9am this morning, yet for the clear cold air, the frost is not growing. The frost is there, coating all surfaces again as it did in November. By 3pm the temperature had “jumped” to +1° wow. Above is another clear view of Penguin from the Tesoro in Girdwood. 

Yesterday I drove into Anchorage and there was a stiff wind along the Turnagain for most of the day. The wind was odd, though, in that it was not all throughout the air column. On the south side of the Turnagain, the snow was being blown off the tops of the mountains, the snow wafting off the tops in light drifts. Be warned those of you back country skiing, there will be wind drifts on your ridges in the Turnagain Pass area of the Kenai Mountains for sure. Check the CNFAIC site for some great recent photos and videos under the Observations tab. 

Back to the wind, while we could feel it on the car, the snow was not moving from the tops of the mountains on the Chugach Forest side (above the Seward Highway). On our way back to Gridwood at 8pm, the wind at the surface had really picked up and debris was blowing all over the road. The sky was clear as predicted and the bright moon lit up patches of water between the ice chunks in the Arm. It was very pretty. I was glad to find when we returned to Girdwood that Glacier Valley was spared the wind. This keeps our environment beautiful because the snow remains on the trees. The poor trees however, appear so tired to me. They look as though they are slouching their shoulders with their heads hanging low. Oh, so much cold with so little snow to protect us, its so cold, lets just lay down and go to sleep....

The wonderful benefit of no snow this winter is all the bright sun. For those of us who live here, we barely notice the shortened hours of sunlight due to its intensity for the four to five hours that it does shine. The blue and white I have made observations of before, are just so intense and cool to look at. 

Here is a view of the Headwall above Alyeska Ski Resort with the moon above all. The photos today were taken with my iphone. I have a lot of experience taking photos beginning when we still used film. I do hot, however, have a great deal of experience with this phone photography. I did adjust the colors slightly to make them more realistic. They look a little rough to me however, so I will keep practicing. The phone does not give all of the settings and adjustments that a digital SLR gives, thank goodness for Photoshop! 

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