First Snow Of The Season!

In what I hope is a harbinger of a cold, snowy winter in semi-rural south central Alaska we saw our first snowfall from Thursday afternoon (October 20th) into early Friday morning.  Although I observed just 1.75″ of uncharacteristically heavy, wet snow other areas to the south and east saw anywhere from 3″ to 9″ in the Hatcher Pass area.  The SWE of the snow measured 1″ of liquid water producing 7.29″ of snow; we normally see 1″ of liquid water yielding between 12″ and 30″ of snow.  However, this is not surprising given the temperature stayed a degree or two above freezing across Thursday into very early Friday morning and we saw sleet and freezing rain mixing with the snow late Thursday afternoon.  The snow remains on the trees and ground as of Saturday morning but we are also seeing moderate (13-18 mph) north breezes so before long the trees will lose their snowy covering.

Here are a couple of images taken from my second floor Friday morning:

first-2016-snow-back

Looking west at a portion of my ‘back yard’ showing the driveway and weather station sensors Friday (10/21/16) morning

first-2016-snow-front

Looking ENE from one of my ‘spare’ bedrooms on Friday (10/21/16) morning; this is my ‘front yard’

18 thoughts on “First Snow Of The Season!

  1. Indeed a great sight for sore eyes tired of the Texas sun… Hey is that a Ham vertical antenna and tripod in the top photograph?

    • Hey Buddy – Glad the image of some ‘white stuff’ provided a bit of comfort; in a year you’ll be wading in it once again! Actually the pole and tripod seen in the image of my ‘back yard’ supports the weather station sensor suite at the base and the wind vane/anemometer near the top. When you visited I had it mounted in the front yard…

  2. loveloveLOVE.

    • Glad you enjoyed the images, Kris! The snow is still on the ground although it is now just 1.25″ in depth thanks to yesterday’s high of 35.9° F with sunshine. Cool this morning, however, as I’m reading 16.9° F at 06:10.

        • Even cooler this morning as I’m showing 9.9° F at 06:17 so with the crystal clear skies and the sun not breaking the horizon until 09:13 we’re going to see some invigoratingly cool temps. And, Kris, those clear skies yielded some gorgeous aurora last night into this morning. I was struggling with a nasty bout of acid reflux and was awake from right around midnight until 02:30; normally I sit up in bed and read during such situations but this morning I just piled up three pillows, laid back and enjoyed the show. If I had to be awake then Mother Nature gave me a wonderful present in such active aurora!

          • awesome!!! I am going to have to go north to see those better next year! I hope they made you feel better!

            • Now we’re a bit cooler than yesterday morning; I’m reading a bracing 7.3° F at 06:52. Incredible aurora in the wee hours of this morning! I arose at 12:23 to hit the bathroom, climbed back into bed, laid back and watched the amazing show for almost an hour. I really should have been sleeping but such displays mesmerize me and I just cannot close my eyes. Without question I’ve seen more auroral displays from late September through now than I have the previous three winters combined. We’re just having a very lucky run of clear nights with minimal moonlight and very active aurora. And thanks for your wishes; acid reflux is not fun but in the grand scheme of ailments it is hardly a terrible one. While I do struggle with its effects from time to time it is nothing like cancer, Alzheimer’s or similar.

            • Any time one feels discomfort, it is horrible. However, sky watching is a great balm. One of my friends positioned the window in his son’s room to watch the sky. Amazing spot to not sleep!

            • Oh yes, I forgot to add that across the next couple of nights the aurora are forecast to be visible overhead as far south as Kodiak! The ranking is a ‘high +’ of 6 on the 0 to 9 scale.

            • I saw that on FB!!! I was so annoyed I was a week late for EVERYTHING!

  3. Lots of pictures of the recent aurora from local residents can be found all over the web. Check out Adrian McMullan’s Facebook page; she’s a new local and a good friend of mine…

    • One of my mum’s neighbors in Nikiski posted a gorgeous lot of shimmering skies and stars over frozen lakes. (Debbie Boyle) I’ll look at the one you mentioned, too–

      • Thanks for the suggestion, Kris! I’ll check into Debbie Boyle on Facebook and the ‘net. I can never get enough of looking at images of the aurora!

        • Things went south after I last wrote. Literally–Hoping you have had a better couple of days than I!

          • ‘Morning Kris – Sorry to hear things haven’t gone your way; we’ve seen a definite warming into the low to mid-thirties along with some freezing rain and a few snow flakes. All this has made what snow remains icy and very slippery. ADOT issued beau coup warnings regarding travel on the Parks Highway due to freezing rain and black ice; thankfully I managed to get my buddy to ANC yesterday afternoon and return here before this occurred. With forecast highs in the low forties this week I suspect we’ll see rain and rain/snow mixes during the day and just some light snow at night. Not my favorite weather but then this is fall in south central Alaska! Hope things improve down your way…

            • I am now in ANC (see post) and am so GLAD to see a bit of white stuff.

  4. Welcome Home, Kris! We have around 2.5″ of snow up here in Talkeetna. While I’ll take any snow we can get I’d sure like to see a real snow event that drops double digit amounts of snow. Across the last three years we’ve generally seen at least one such event by mid-November. Here’s hoping..!

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