Upside-Down Winter Weather Could Be Due to a Wavering Arctic Jetstream
The modern day wizards of weather know exactly why the climate conspired to unleash February rain and floods on Alaska, once mocked across the nation as “Seward’s Icebox” only to be newly proclaimed by the New York Times as the climate-friendy “place to be” in the 21st century.
“The Arctic has warmed at approximately twice the rate of the Northern mid-latitudes since the 1990s owing to a variety of positive feedbacks that amplify greenhouse-gas-induced global warming,”Blame an aberrant jet stream that has taken to swirling south from Asia into the Pacific Ocean tropics, where it grabs a load of warm, moist air and then heads north to deliver it to Alaska, with predictable results.
On Tuesday, the high temperature in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, hit 40 degrees — 11 degrees above the norm. The low was 30 — 15 degrees above the norm.
The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous World Championship Sled Dog Race, a big deal in the 49th state, has been canceled for lack of snow. So, too, the Tour of Anchorage cross-country ski marathon. The 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmachine race was roaring north to Nome through flooded forests and dirt-covered lowlands where the speeding sleds kicked up roostertails of dust.