Saturday, December 15, 2012

The cold clear air is back

This morning it is 13° in Girdwood under clear skies. There may be some clouds along the Turnagain, that is yet to be seen. There is no wind as of yet, however there may be some later in the day.

The temperature remained cold all day and the wind did pick up around 9:30am. With the temperature hovering around 14° all day and a brisk wind, around 20 mph, there was (and is) about a -2° feel with wind chill. Here is a link to NOAA's wind chill chart. Refer to it before heading out tomorrow!

Friday, December 14, 2012

No danger of snow melt in the near future

It is quite cold this morning, 19° so there is no threat of the fresh snow melting. Girdwood is under a low blanket of fog this morning. If you look at the weather cam from the top of Mt. Alyeska you will see that there is bright sun above the Tram (CNFAIC scroll down to map and hover mouse over arrows, great views from Seattle Ridge and Sunrise). Sun is in our forecast for the next couple of days with frigid temperatures returning. Dress warm for skiing this weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Temperature stayed cold for snow

Light flurries for a short time late morning. Temperature held around 30° all day. We had a little sun poking through occasionally. Should have been lovely skiing. With the warm hours we had recently, a good amount of ice melted from Glacier Creek, the view below looking up creek.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fabulous snow day

It has been snowing all night in Girdwood. I estimate (without having been outside  yet) 3-4 inches of fresh powder, the resort reports 5". The temperature is 30° at the T, frighteningly close to that point I dare not mention. The forecast is close to that point as well. NOAA predicts the snow turning to rain at the coast. It also predicts the temperature to stay just below freezing for Girdwood. Snow should continue tonight. Above is the Daylodge base at 9am, silky soft!

Please drive safe on the Seward if you are coming to ski in the fresh stuff, it will snow all day so there is no need to rush to be first on the mountain. Check Alaska 511 for road conditions and check the weather cams at CNFAIC.

For the skiers out there, look at this snow! Walking in un-plowed snow, it was about 9” deep at 9am. It is absolutely soft and beautiful. Here are some lovely photos, however, I don’t look forward to driving!

Update at 2pm, I just drove into  Anchorage it is snowing heavy in Girdwood but lightens along the way. Little rain near bird. The temperature warmed up to 37° at Potter's marsh then dropped back down to 27 in the city.

The temperature in Girdwood at 7p was 32°, the forecast was for rain along the coast which it did just a little on the Seward Highway. Thankfully, it stayed freezing and below in Girdwood. This evening at 9 pm it is 30° and it is still snowing. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stars are out this morning

Thank goodness the temperature has dropped down to 26° this morning. The snow is still crunchy and I am glad there will not be any melting today. We are in for a sunny day with anticipation of more snow tomorrow.

I drove into Anchorage late yesterday afternoon. With the warm air over the last two days, all the frost was gone from the marsh near the entrance to Girdwood. The trees at sea level had lost their grey frost sheen, and even the ice in Bird Creek had thawed! Let's hope that was a one-weekend event!

It was a beautiful clear day with the temperature holding at 26° most of the way through. However, at about 3pm I noticed the icicles dripping on the north side of my roof, strange. They did not completely melt, must have been from the warm radiating sun seen below. 

The forecast tells us we have 100% chance of snow tonight and tomorrow. The radar is a flashback to last winter. Last winter we had weekly storm systems that looked like straight highways of moisture coming up from the equator. I am very happy to see it as I am waiting for softer snow before I ski the mountain. The only drawback to the snow tomorrow is the fact that I will be driving into Anchorage to take the Master Gardener final test. Yikes! What will I be thinking of, the snow finally blanketing the soil surface to help protect the roots of our valuable trees. I will be glad that the temperatures did not warm up enough to activate the meristems and shoot apexes of plants. If that would have happened and the plants would have started growing and then those sensitive tips would have frozen! 

You saw the photo above of the sun glowing across the Turnagain Arm. Now look at this one below of the altocumulus clouds to moving in ahead of the storm.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Warm air creates crunchy snow surface

The temperature is steady at 33° this morning. Girdwood is experiencing light flurries that cannot decide if they want to be snow or rain. The snow has formed a crust on top due to the warmer air last night. I hear that skiing at the base is not so fun because of that. The light precipitation is accompanied by a fog bank. Above it is visible from the T looking toward downtown Girdwood.

Last night I shoveled most of my driveway (most because its a big drive with room for about 6 cars to park in) It was so warm I had to remove a couple of layers! This morning when I walked on the remaining snow, I could feel the crunch of breaking the top layer. The photo below kind of shows how warm its been. With the snow falling off the trees, the needles are shedding with it. Crunch crunch crunch....

Here is a shot at the base of the Daylodge. The fog clearly obscuring Max’s and the headwall. Our forecast is for the snow to taper off tonight and for clear skies tomorrow. Looks like the snow should return on Wednesday. Remember to check the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center for the most accurate weather.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

From too cold to too warm, snow is slosh

It is utterly amazing how quick the air has warmed up. We have been in a deep-freeze, temperatures in single digits for a month. Yet in one day a weather system rides up here from the south and raises the temperature to 31° this morning. 

One would have thought everything would have taken weeks to thaw, but no. The snow and ice are falling off the trees and roof lines are dripping. At 10pm the temperature was 33°. The resort recorded 6 inches of snow at the base. It did not snow all day as expected in Girdwood, rather it started raining in the afternoon. Sad. At least it did not rain for long. The forecast still entails snow, but at this temperature, I don’t know. 

There was a major wreck at mile 91 of the Seward this evening. Please drive slow, just because you have a big SUV or 4-wheel drive does not mean you can drive normal highway speeds on a snow covered, wet, winding road. 

This photo shows what the conditions were today and at the time the accident happened. The snow had turned to rain around 3pm. With the warmer temperatures, the snow had started to become slushy.