Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back on track...

After a short diversion to politics (Yuge announcement...1/21/16), it's back out to the dog trail, a lot better place to be.
They (the two rivers dog mushers) had a race down through the valley where we run the dogs. Usually they skirt this area to the east, but probably due to winter logging going on in the area they normally use, they ran through almost the entire valley from west to east. I was kind of psyched, thinking we'd get a bunch of passes with other teams, which seldom happens now with only one other dog musher in the valley. But despite expecting to meet the race leaders on the way back home, we didn't see any other teams. Kind of disappointed afterwards, but we did almost get run over by two snow machines on a blind curve. The dogs ran by them just fine, so at least they got some practice passing, even if it wasn't what was expected.

Crossing the pond near the creek.


Takin' a break down in the valley.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yuge announcement...

Trump, the greatest circus performer since P.T (a sucker born every minute) Barnum has had his yuge announcement: Sarah Palin is endorsing him for president. Just when it seemed like she'd crawled back under the rock that she'd hid under after resigning as governor of Alaska and burning her bridges on Faux news and the reality show circuit, she's back. Her rambling, almost incoherent speech is little changed from her failed stump speeches in 2008. As one pundit remarked, "the only thing Palin hates more than Obama is punctuation."
But the best part is still her almost total lack of knowledge of how the government works:
Palin was asked on CNN what position she would like to have in Trump’s administration. Without missing a beat, Palin said she’d want to head the Department of Energy — but only so she could eventually get rid of it.
“I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby: oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use,” she said. “If I were head of that, I’d get rid of it.”Palin also said that, as energy secretary, she would give individual states more control over oil and gas development within their borders. 
However, the Department of Energy does not regulate oil and gas development — that responsibility goes to the Department of the Interior. The Department of Energy mainly oversees U.S. nuclear programs and conducts energy research. The current Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, is a nuclear physicist.
(http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/01/19/3740724/sarah-palin-donald-trump-endorsement/)
One thing's for sure, Sarah Palin's no nuclear scientist.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cold weather runnin'...

The warm spell that started after Christmas is about over, so we've got to deal with cold weather that normally comes in January.  While it hasn't been really cold yet, it's been cool enough (-10 to -15); that's still something you need to pay attention to when you're out. Haven't had to break out the Carhart arctic gear or Eddy Bauer down parka yet, but it's getting close. Ran today with my normal gear, light parka and overpants, and it was fine. but soon, as the distance increases and the temps drop, well it'll be a lot more interesting trying to stay warm.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hooking 'em up again...

The cold spell that started just before Christmas ended rather quickly when a chinook blew into the valley (http://ak-wx.blogspot.com/2016/01/chinook-winds.html). It soon got above freezing and broke high temperature records all over northern Alaska. It was almost too warm to run dogs, but did manage to get them out a few times during the warm spell. Now that it's cooled off again, we're finally back to a regular training schedule.
Taking a break on the way out.

Heading up the hill on the way home.

So here's the weather bureau's summary for the month:

Monthly weather summary for December for Fairbanks, Alaska...

December 2015 was another tranquil month  with very little snowfall and no extreme cold temperatures.
The average maximum temperature was 6.5 degrees above which was 1.7 degrees above the normal maximum temperature of 4.8 degrees and ranks as the 28th warmest of 111 years of record. The average minimum temperature was 10.8 below which was 2.1 degrees above the normal minimum temperature of 12.9 degrees below and ranks as the 31st warmest of 112 years of record. The mean temperature was 2.2 below which was 1.9 degrees above the normal mean temperature of 4.1 degrees below and ranks as the 27th warmest of 111 years of record.
The highest temperature was 45 degrees which occurred on the 30th. The temperature soared to break a daily high temperature record as a result of strong chinook winds blowing over the Alaska range. This temperature shattered the previous record of 35 degrees set in 1982. The average temperature departures from normal were 36 and 32 degrees on the 30th and 31st and helped push the monthly average above normal where most of the month of December hovered at or slightly below average.
The coldest temperature was 29 below, which occurred on the 25th, and is the coldest temperature of the season to date.
December 2015 was exceptionally dry with only 1.1 inches of snow falling, which ranks as the 98th snowiest of 101 year of record. Normal snowfall for December is 12.1 inches. The snowfall melted down to a paltry 0.07 inches which ranks as the 5th driest of 101 years of record. The normal precipitation for December is 0.64 inches.
Looking forward to January...the average high temperature drops from 2 above on the 1st to zero by the 12th and then climbs back to 3 above by the 31st. The average low temperature drops form 16 below on the 1st to 18 below on the 14th and then climbs back to 16 below again by the 31st. The average temperature continues to drop and bottoms out at around 8 below which is the lowest monthly average temperature for Fairbanks. Temperatures in January have ranged form 52 above in 2009 to 66 below in 1934.
While average snowfall in January is 10.3 inches, as much as 40.2 inches of snow fell in 1993. Possible sunshine increases dramatically during the month with 4 hours and 1 minute on the 1st increasing by an average of 6 minutes per day to 6 hours and 49 minutes by the 31st.
The outlook from the climate prediction center calls for above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The sun just barely clears the ridge top in early January.