The winter that wasn’t

It's a low-snow winter, both in the mountains around Anchorage and in the flats. (Photo by Brian Brettschneider, taken Jan. 25, 2015)
It’s a low-snow winter, both in the mountains around Anchorage and on the flats.
(Photo by climatologist Brian Brettschneider, taken Jan. 25, 2015)

Glance out the window. Do you, like me, see more bare ground than snow cover?

Yes it’s been one of those winters (so far). Goodbye to this year’s Fur Rondy dog sprints. Catch you at the Iditarod re-start in Fairbanks March 9 (only the second time this shift has happened; it also moved north in 2003). Forget our popular Tour of Anchorage ski jaunt from east to west Anchorage March 8; organizers plan a Kincaid Park foot race and a beach party!

Maybe we could cobble the snow together for a snowman, but check out the bare ground under the trees. (Photo by Brian Brettschneider, Oct. 20, 2014)
Maybe we could cobble the snow together for a snowman, but check out the bare ground under the trees. (Photo by Brian Brettschneider, Oct. 20, 2014)

Chives are sprouting next to my back door. I see willow buds on the bushes. A friend walking the Chester Creek trail Saturday morning said she thought she heard a song bird that usually arrives much later in the year. Is green grass next?

Yes, this warm weather is disorienting, but what’s the true significance of our “unseasonal” temperatures?

Hometown Alaska is happy to welcome back climatologist Brian Brettschneider to help us unpack our weird weather from the unique position he’s in, steeped in the data.

“From a sociological point of view, the way people recollect weather and climate is fascinating,” he said. Mostly, they remember wrong. So together we’ll challenge listeners to recall their most vivid weather memories in Anchorage and Alaska. What was the coldest winter you remember? The deepest snow? The earliest or latest snow? The earliest break up?

Brian can put our weird weather into context with longer-scale climate change. That can be a surprising discussion, he said, because climate change is much more in the background than today’s actual high or low temperatures. He’ll explain what he means on the show.

And since the Iditarod sled dog race starts in just five days, Brian will talk us through anticipated weather conditions for the Last Great Race.

Bring your questions and your weather memories to the next Hometown Alaska.

Listen Now:

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

GUEST:

  • Brian Brettschneider, climatologist, Borealis Scientific, SWCA Enviro Consultants

LINKS:

PARTICIPATE:

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, March 4, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, March 4, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)

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