Friday, November 14, 2008

11/14/08 update

Winter in the Interior of Alaska

The Interior buzzes during the Summer, but come labor day, the tourist continue the flight out to get back to work, get home for school, or avoid the winter. I will discuss in this update about winter in the Interior. If you want to know how it is south of the Alaskan Range just go to Omaha, Ne during one of their winter storms. It is the same, wet snow, wind, cold, etc. Just don't dump your kids while you are there.

Here in North Pole the highest wind I have seen is about 10 mph, but go 20 miles away and it can get up to 20 or 30 mph. With the lack of wind it allows snow to stay in the trees all winter. Gives the place a Christmas card look all winter.

With no wind and low humidity, the snow falls straight down and it comes down as one or two flakes combined together. As a reference point, 16 inches of snow here is equal to one inch of water. Snow this dry means you can't make a snow man much less form a snow ball, but it is great for snow machining (snow mobiles for you in the lower 48).

Normally our snow starts in early October, but starts staying on the ground around the middle of October. Then it stays till early April. So we have white from October till April, on the roads, in the trees, etc.

Our temperatures in December, January, February on average are about -20 degrees. Some times they get down to -40 or -50, which is cold. One interesting thing to do when it gets this cold is to boil water in a pan then go out side and throw it in the air. The water vaporizes in the air!!!

So what do we do during the winter. Snow machine to moose camps, about a 60 mile trip. Of course there are frequent stops to have a beer or some other beverage. Then we can ski, go to the Badger Den, ice fish, snow machine to Fairbanks. Some people have dog teams and dog sled on the trails around this area.

Now when it gets down to -40 or -50 or lower, school is still on. In fact, they may only cancel school if it gets above 32 degrees. The reason is the snow will melt, get on the roads, and freeze during the night making driving hazardous in the morning.