Although in the grand scheme this winter has been a huge disappointment with it being largely absent during January – the warmest January on record for this area – and present in terms of temps but sans snow in February at least March has brought a change in these conditions. Our snow event across March 4th and 5th deposited 15.4″ of new snow here at Mile 7.1 just east of the Spur and we’ve seen below zero morning temps across the past three days with afternoon highs rising into the middle twenties thanks to the clear skies and rapidly increasing sunlight. Yesterday I walked the dogs in the middle afternoon prior to my evening newscast and found the conditions to be perfect! The sky was that deep cobalt blue which I still associate with Canadian High Pressure in the lower 48 but has no such linkage up here; indeed, the pressure was falling rapidly across Friday afternoon and is all the way down to 29.20″ Hg (988.83 Mb) as I write this at 09:52 AKST on a clear Saturday morning. There was a slight northerly breeze which was unusual but produced a beautiful sound passing through the snow covered pine trees and the air temp was around 25 F. When in the sun I could really feel its warm and immediately recognized the implication that within just a few more weeks it will be strong enough to begin melting snow on clear afternoons even though the air temps remain below freezing.
The dogs were loving every minute of the walk with Qanuk racing well out in front of me only to turn and charge right back at me running full tilt only to turn away at the last second. I saw a multitude of moose tracks and even some scat on the freshly cleared roads but the moose themselves remained out of sight. Even Anana had a puppy-like spring in her step and she regularly tried to keep up with Qanuk but while she’s still the alpha dog when it comes to running Qanuk can literally run circles around her. All in all it was a glorious day for a walk in rural Talkeetna and this time of year is rapidly becoming a real favorite of mine. Sadly its unlikely I’ll get to experience -30 F this winter or see that 36 inches plus of snow pack but there’s always next year!
Qanuk and Anana on Riven Street with the Alaska Range in the distance
Anana looking north up Riven Street