While Alyeska is reporting the largest snowfall total in North America with 719″ (that’s 60 FEET!), NOAA is reporting that the our northern relative is having one of its warmest and least precipitous winters on record.
With the exception of south-central Alaska, most of the state is doing well under the average for snow and well over the average for temperatures this winter.
How bad is it?
For one, the Iditarod aka “The Last Great Race On Earth” had to use trains to transport enough snow for the starting point of the legendary sled-dog race. Secondly, this years winter will go down as the second warmest on record for Alaska since people began recording temps in 1925.
-47 °F was the greatest overnight low this season– that’s the highest minimum temp ever recorded in Alaska!
NOAA meteorologist Tom Di Liberto also said the AK winter was the “sixteenth driest on record.” And while the temperatures are somewhat expected during this historic El Niño year, the results are still surprising to say the least. According to Liberto, a strong Aleutian low pressure system added to the warm winter by opening the door for semi-tropical air to enter interior Alaska. Not to mention, climate change is playing its part.