Saturday, January 10, 2009

Alaska Weather

My BEAUTIFUL sisters in Christ!

Well, I guess with me it is feast or famine...after so long of posting nothing, I have so much I want to talk to you about!

This post is going to be about the recent cold weather in Alaska. Did I say cold? I mean SERIOUSLY cold. I have not gone to town in about two weeks (except to take the folks to the airport). Our coldest was -56 (or somewhere around there) and the warmest has been about -35.

What can you do at those temps? Ummm....Well you can do the "tourist tricks" for one! You can take a cup of HOT coffee (make it as hot as you want) and toss it up in the air. It will "POOF!" freeze and blow away in a cloud of frozen vapor BEFORE it hits the ground. No, seriously!

You can also take a balloon filled with air outside and poke it with a fork and it will stay inflated. You have to do this quickly, because if you wait too long, the air in the balloon condenses and makes it hard to stick a fork in. If you take it back inside, it will just sort of deflate. At no time will it "pop". OH and you can make pretty designs on the balloon itself by lightly pressing your finger tip on it--it makes little star bursts in the latex itself.

You can also chip ice away from the INSIDE of the triple paned windows. You can drive on square tires (your tires get frozen when you park, and when you drive, you can feel the "cathunk, cathunk" of flat sided tires until they warm up and round out). You can freeze a thermometer (I thought we just had a warm spot in our yard, but apparently the thermometer had frozen up....some how that just seems so ironic to me!).

We have something called "ice fog"--it can get incredibly thick and very dangerous. Remember the hot coffee tourist trick I mentioned? Same sort of thing, but this does not blow away. It is made from car exhaust, exhaust from chimneys, etc. The air get so still and so cold, that all that moisture from the exhaust just stays there, near the ground, and builds the more cars that drive. It sure makes the sky pretty though! It diffuses the sun so the sun looks HUGE, and also makes everything have a very soft edge. The scenery is painted in a pale blue light, with hints of pink and yellow and lavender. It is pretty amazing looking.

Here is a link to a webcam that is in Fairbanks where they have a LOT of ice fog. If you look in the next couple of days, you should be able to see it, though they are supposed to be getting warmer temps at some point. http://www.newsminer.com/arcticcam/

We do not have very much daylight yet, so it is hard to catch when it is light there. But if you can see it, it will be one of the coldest looking views you might have ever seen!

It is too cold to snow, btw. I have never lived anywhere where it had to WARM UP to snow. That is still just weird to me! hee hee!

That's it for the Alaska weather report! Stay tuned to this station 4 months from now when we will still have snow and ice (though hopefully not be on the wrong side of zero degrees!)!

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I'm SO glad I can't do any of those experimnents here, LOL!!! Thank you so much for the enlightening/fascinating information though!