There is snow in Alaska? Of course, it does. But the reality of the amount of snow that gets Alaska can be very different from the popular concept of snow in Alaska.
Many people conceive of Alaska as a barren land where it snows constantly in massive quantities, and where everyone lives in an igloo. Such a concept makes Alaska sound like a cold and white land.
In fact, Alaska has more lakes, rivers and green trees than does any state in the US State intensely green and rich much of the year. However, total rainfall and snowfall total may be much smaller than you think.
Alaska Snowfall Totals
Here are some average annual precipitation and snowfall over the cross section of Alaska.
Anchorage — 15,37 "—- 69,0" Snowfall precipitation
Barrow ——- 4.67 "———– 28.0"
Fairbanks —- 10.37 '———– 68.0 "
Homer ——- 24,93 "———– 58,0"
Juneau 52.86 —— "———– 101.0"
McGrath —– 16,18 "———– 93.0"
Name ——– 15.64 "———– 56.0"
Valdez ——- 61.50 "———– 320.0"
Compared with the Buffalo, NY, receives an average of 80 "to 100" of snow each year. Some sections of upstate New York, were also affected by their proximity to the Great Lakes, receive an average of 150 "to 200" of snowfall per year. Hooker, N.Y., received 466 "of snow during the winter of 1976-1977.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, received heavy seasonal snowfall total of 98 "during the winter of 1983-1984.
As you can see from Alaska makes up a large part of Alaska with a & # 39 is relatively dry, receiving less than 20 "of rain a year. Southcentral and southeastern coastal areas receive more rainfall.
Far to the north of Alaska receives precipitation totals typical of a desert. Please note, the annual result Barrow is only 4.67 "of moisture. Of course, most of this amount falls as snow. Because of the ice under the soil and the lack of intense drying sunshine runoff and evaporation are minimal. That is why northern Alaska entirely dry desert, despite the small amounts of precipitation.
Alaska Snow Reports
It's always interesting to hear about extremes and they can certainly be found in Alaska. For example, Thompson Pass, a popular extreme ski and snowboard area north of Valdez, once received a record 974.5 "of snow during the winter of 1952-1953.
Thompson Pass recorded 62 "snow during one 24-hour period in December 1955. In February 1953, Thompson Pass received a record 297.9" snow. It is almost 25 feet of snow in just one month!
The deepest snow recorded in Alaska, and the deepest in all of North America occurred in Wolverine Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula during the winter of 1976-1977 gg. The depth was 356 ". It's packed, condensed snow. Deep almost 30 feet!
For comparison, Barrow, in the dry north, received a record minimum amount of snow during the winter of 1935-1936, only 3 years. "
Here are a couple of other extremes for total precipitation. Montague Island in 1976 received a record 332.29 "precipitation. It is almost an inch of rain per day! On the other hand, Barrow received only 1.61" of precipitation for the entire 1935.
In Alaska stores a large amount of fresh water in its glaciers. Surprisingly 75% of the world's fresh water held in glaciers worldwide and has more than a fair share of Alaska.
Alaska has more than 5,000 glaciers, covering over 100,000 square miles. Alaska has more glaciers than the entire rest of the world together, with the exception of the ice fields of Antarctica and Greenland.
Valdez, Northern Switzerland
Valdez is located on the coast of Southcentral Alaska and receives an average of more than 300 "snow in the year. As a rule, there is a 6-foot snow drifts on city rooftops. Canyon a few miles north of Valdez with & # 39 is home to several frozen waterfalls and It makes a world-class destination for ice climbers Valdez.
Thompson Pass, further north of Valdez, boasts some of the best helicopters available extreme skiing and snowboarding terrain in all of North America. Not surprisingly, that Valdez was not called the "Switzerland of the North."
Each year Valdez holds Winter Carnival. Between 1990 Winter Carnival snow has passed the sign. As part of a winter holiday city showed the movie "500" Back to the beach "on the 20-foot by 18-foot" screen ", which they carved out of the snow bank. It is about the external drive-in theater!
What is snow?
Snow and frozen ice crystal size and shape of the crystals depends on the temperature of the formation and amount of water vapor that is present during forming.
Pure snow crystals with a & # 39 are hexagonal, six others. The basic water molecule consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one oxygen atom to form a triangle of three equal sides. During crystallization each new kidney ice crystal is formed at an angle of 60 degrees. Crystallization continues until 6 of these triangles are not complete. As the crystal falls through the atmosphere becomes more and more, and its six sided structure becomes the basis for more complex snowflakes.
Common forms include star snowflakes, needles, flat planes, columns, capped column, dendrite and irregular groups. Some snowflakes can be as 1 "in diameter.
For one of the most interesting human stories about snowflake research, I consider that Wilson Bentley. He earned the nickname "Snowflake» Bentley, because he was the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885. He studied over 5000 snowflakes and declared that no two snowflakes are not exactly the quote, which has been transferred from generation to generation anonymously until now.
In 1931, when the Snowflake Bentley died, he published a book called snow crystalsThe book contains more than 2,400 images of Snowflake Bentley.
How many Eskimo words there snow?
As already mentioned, there are 52 words in the language of the Inuit Eskimos, Yupik or snow. It's also been said that there are 21 words, and it's also been said that there are over 400. Where does the truth lie?
The idea that, because the snow is so important in the life of the northern indigenous peoples, which should be a lot of words to describe it reached the level of myth. The truth is that there are probably about as many Eskimo words for snow as there are English words for snow.
Alaska Climate Changes
According to Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, "Alaska harder hit by global climate change than any place in the world." Global warming is a trend for many years, but very few places show as many consequences of the trend, as does Alaska. The average temperature has risen nearly 7 degrees in the last 30 years.
Changes due to global warming are, for example, that the permafrost in Fairbanks and other towns is no longer permanent. The land was sharply drops due to melting permafrost and hydraulic jacks are needed on many buildings to keep them level. Further north, in Barrow, there are now mosquitoes where there once was.
In the coastal village of Shishmaref a higher water gradually decreases towards the land of village buildings. The village may have to relocate further inland.
Spruce bark beetles have killed 4 million acres of white spruce forests on the picturesque Kenai Peninsula, the largest devastation due to insects ever experienced in North America. Beetles have been able to reproduce twice their normal rate due to the higher summer temperatures. Dead trees are a huge fire hazard around many settlements and major recreational areas are threatened.
The glaciers were moving away at an incredible speed. Portage Glacier, south of Anchorage, has not retreated so much in the last 20 years that it is no longer visible from the visitor center. Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound is currently the fastest moving glacier in the world, retreating 80 to 115 feet per day. She stepped over 6 miles in 1982.
There are a lot of glaciers and significant snow in Alaska, but the changes occur at an increased rate and will have worldwide effects.