Twenty-three of the 25 fires so far this year were ignited by human activity. While this year’s heavy snowpack and cold spring pushed back the start to fire season in many parts of the state, climate change is generally causing an earlier snowmelt, said climatologist Rick Thoman.
Kivalina has long dealt with climate change-driven erosion. While the village didn’t feel the effects of heavy flooding, residents are wary of a future with heavy autumn storms.
All schools in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough are closed Wednesday due to slick roads across the region, as snowfall continues. “This is the heaviest snowfall the Anchorage area has seen in over 20 years,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Shelby. “Our crews are keeping up as best they can.”
Snow dumped on Southcentral Alaska this weekend, with more than 8 inches falling in the Anchorage area and about 5 inches in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. A Climatologist says this weekend has led to a record amount of snowpack this late in the season.
Anchorage Health Department officials say the person who tested positive is an Anchorage resident and is isolating at home. Officials say the person did not require hospitalization, and was a close contact of a person who recently traveled out of state.
Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough schools and state offices are closed Thursday as a third major winter storm this month coated the area with snow overnight Wednesday. “In the past 11 days, we’ve had 41.1 inches of snow which is a lot for Anchorage,” Baines said.
For the first time in more than a century with no recorded snow -- not even a trace -- this late in October, as of Tuesday the 16th. On top of that, warm weather across the state is setting marks for the latest freeze date on record.
Officials say the floodwaters are swamping Alaska towns, tearing buildings from foundations, seeping into homes and covering roads. In Glennallen, the local utility is setting up Porta-Potties around the community, and area residents are asked to limit water usage. The state transportation department said there was water over a portion of the Glenn Highway on Monday, but the road remained open.
There are over one hundred and forty landslides along the Denali Park road, the 92 mile road through Denali National Park and Preserve. None are more threatening than the Pretty Rocks Landslide at Polychrome Pass.
Shaktoolik has lost its berm to the storm that’s hammered Western Alaska over the weekend, according to Mayor Lars Sookiayak. The berm was all that protected the small village from the sea. “It really saved us from the first hit that came in this morning,” one resident said.
November is usually the second snowiest month in Anchorage, but this year, snow totals are well below average. So far, only about three inches of snow has fallen in the city. November usually sees an average of seven inches by now, with a total of a little more than 13 inches for the month. National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Snider says total snowfall for the season is also well below normal.
One reading on the Hillside clocked winds reaching 91 miles per hour. The day saw reports of property damage, road closures and downed power lines.LEO Note: According to Rick Thoman of NWS, these are unusually high winds for April.
Bats are a pretty low priority for most Alaskan biologists, but that could be changing due to a recent uptick in the creature’s population. Add to that a disease that’s been killing millions of bats in the lower 48, and Alaska might be taking note with the rest of the nation very soon. Listen now