Even by Alaska’s unreliable standards, the weather forecasts have been very poor this winter. Usually they are fairly good about 3 days out, but they can’t even get it right for the same day lately. They keep changing it, sometimes several times in an hour. (yes, I kind of obsess over things like that). Anyway, tonight’s forecast for Friday really is a head scratcher on Weather Underground.

Mostly cloudy. Fog early. High of 10F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 20%. Overcast with a chance of snow and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy. Fog overnight. Low of -6F. Winds less than 5 mph.

If the high is only supposed to be 10 and it’s supposed to go below zero, how in the world is it supposed to rain? Temperatures need to at least be near freezing (32F) for that to happen. Yes, it does sometimes rain in the middle of the winter here in interior Alaska, but not when it’s near zero all week. Now the possible rain on Sunday with expected temperatures rising from the upper teens to high 20’s makes more sense. If that happens, I’m not looking forward to driving Monday or Tuesday. Luckily, since I’m the boss right now, I can give myself the day off if necessary and put everyone else on minimal schedule so they can stay off the roads as much as possible.

Where did summer go?

After the driest May on record since 1925, we’ve had a very wet June. There’s been flood watches and advisories off and on the past few weeks. We get a nice day and things start to dry out, then more rain comes. First, we don’t have enough water, now there’s too much.

It’s been cool too. It never got above 60 this weekend. I actually had to turn on the furnace in our house Saturday afternoon. We went to our friend’s house Saturday evening for a marshmallow roast. Everyone was glad for the heat the little fire gave off. It was very foggy this morning with just 50 degrees. I made the kids oatmeal for breakfast and we wore our jackets when we went for our walk. It’s seemed more like the end of August than June recently.

My poor garden. First it was hot and dry. Now it’s cool and wet. No happy medium. We need a few warm, dry days then some wet ones but all we seem to get is one or the other. I did manage to get it weeded Saturday afternoon.

This is the second cool, wet summer. Last summer started hot and dry then turned cool and rainy in June too. After several below normal snowfall winters, this last winter had almost the normal amount. Are we starting a changing weather pattern again?

Warmer weather is good, right?

It’s over! We made it! That’s right folks, the frigid cold has moved on after nearly 2 weeks at -40 or colder. Clouds finally moved in and it started warming up yesterday afternoon. Today is zero. Heat wave! Tomorrow is supposed to be 20 ABOVE and the next day may even be above freezing. Wow! That’s at least 85 degrees (or more depending upon where you are) warmer than just a couple of days ago.

Warmer weather is good, right? It’s not as dangerous to do stuff outside. You can stay outside longer. Everything won’t freeze like pipes, cars, and anything else that’s supposed to be liquid if it’s properly insulated. Well, not exactly. It is when the temperature warms back up we have problems. For instance. We have a building with a broken well pump (frozen?) and another with heat pipe problems. Both these happened last night or this morning. As the temperature warms back up, frost can build up and cause things to freeze that were working even though it was colder. The frost also builds up on the roads, turning driving into ice skating on wheels. Ugh.

The good thing is that kids will probably be able to have their dog sled races on Saturday afternoon.

The ‘s’ word

Well, it’s that time of year. Yes, the first time the “s” word appears on our screens, No, not that s word, but something more ominous. SNOW. that’s right, SNOW.

Here’s tonights Fairbanks forecast:

Periods of rain in the evening. A chance of rain after midnight. Rain becoming mixed with or turning to snow above 2000 ft. Areas of drizzle and fog by midnight. Lows 35 to 45. Southwest winds increasing to 10 to 20 mph…locally 30 mph on the hills.
Now compare that to Washington DC where I’m going in a few days:
Partly cloudy late this evening…then clearing. Lows in the lower 70s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Our highs aren’t as warm as their lows. I’m going to melt! It’ll be nice to see some sunshine though.

Near record flooding

Here in Interior Alaska we have been having a lot of rain recently. While it normally is rainy starting this time of year, it usually is just showers, drizzle, and mist rather than steady rain like this year. We’ve gotten over 3 inches of rain this week with another inch or two expected tonight.

Rivers are flooding around Fairbanks with some roads under 2 feet of water closest to the rivers. Normally the Chena river in Fairbanks is 1-2 feet deep but was more than 8 feet deep today and still rising. The Tanana river is normally around 21 feet deep but was over 26 feet deep today, more than 2 feet above flood stage. The flood warnings have been extended through Saturday as it is continuing to rain. According to the National Weather Service, this is the highest water level on the Tanana river since the record flooding in August 1967.

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Only in Alaska (and perhaps other arctic regions) would you get this forcast taken tonight from WeatherUnderground:

Partly cloudy with isolated showers this evening… then sunny after midnight. Lows 55 to 65. Northeast winds 10 mph. Local gusts 25 mph in the evening.

I love living here in the land of the midnight sun. Of course, it also is the land of the noon moon in the winter. đŸ˜›

Somehow, John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders seems appropriate to this post and my mood. Enjoy!

And since today is the Fourth of July (at least for another hour), his Eagles and Horses also seems appropriate.