Lately the national media has been all over the recent snow and cold on the East Coast. Street scenes with towering banks of snow and talking heads jabbering away about the hardships everyone is experiencing and all the snow accumulation records. Supposedly it is 'unprecedented' - with 'records going back to the 1870s'. And yet I think they have missed the real story. The real story is the warmth and lack of snow in Alaska.
I don't think East Coast weather is big news because cold and snow is what's supposed to happen in winter. Maybe it is a little more extreme than usual, but its still winter weather. What's happening in Alaska and on the West coast really is unprecedented. Here on Kodiak Island in Alaska we are still waiting for winter to arrive. This is sort of like having no Summer on the East Coast. Imagine if it snowed in July?
Funnily enough, it did snow a few times in New England one summer way back in 1816 after a series of volcanic eruptions had caused a dramatic global cool down. It was a year 'without summer' and contemporary accounts relate that many lakes stayed frozen for the entire summer. Imagine if that happened today? Can you imagine the uproar on CNN if there was no summer in Boston?
The reverse is happening here on Kodiak Island - we live in Alaska, and yet, no winter yet. On Kodiak none of the lakes have frozen over, my garden is still going strong, and we've barely gotten any snow. It's barely even dipped below freezing. It's been more like a normal winter for Richmond, Virginia than for Kodiak, Alaska.
Researching this blog post I noticed that the Anchorage Daily News picked up on Alaska's abnormally warm winter in today's paper (click here for link). But they did not make all that big of a deal about it. And Anchorage has had some winter - if not as cold and snowy as usual.
This morning I culled these weather maps on the internet. Check out the temperatures across Alaska today as compared to the lower 48 (but also be aware that the color scales are offset about 20 degrees). It's above freezing in Fairbanks, Alaska in mid February! That's AMAZING - far more amazing than sub zero temperatures in Boston.
Also check out the forecast for Jackson, Mississippi as compared to Anchorage, Alaska. Pretty darn similar. WOW! And that kale in my garden is still kicking - and not just surviving but putting on growth. Patrick
|Stuey with a healthy kale plant still producing in the garden|