Monday, July 17, 2017

June weather...

Here.s the June weather summary from the Alaska Climate Research Center:

June 2017 marks 18 months out of the last 20 months with mean statewide temperatures at or above normal. The mean monthly temperature for June was 53.5°F, 1.8°F above the normal. This is 0.6°F below the June 2016 mean of 54.1°F. The first eleven days of the month were above normal, followed by ten days of below normal temperatures, then the month ended with nine more days above normal. The greatest positive deviation occurred on the 8th with 7.5°F above normal, and the greatest negative deviation occurred on the 13th at -2.0°F. 

The highest daily maximum temperature for June was 90°F reported at Fairbanks on the 9th, a new daily record, breaking the 1957 record of 87°F. This was the second earliest 90°F daily high on record, after the 90°F high on May 28, 1947, as well as the first 90°F in Fairbanks since June 2013. Fairbanks also held the spot for the highest mean temperature for the month at 62.8°F.

June's precipitation was notably below normal, with the overall precipitation calculated as 17% below the average;  24 days of the month reported below normal values. This is drier than June 2016, which reported a precipitation surplus of 21% A limited number of daily precipitation records were set this June. Fairbanks on the 11th broke a record set only the pervious year with 1.09", topping the 2016 record of 0.95".

Fire activity was moderate with the somewhat drier weather. Smoke from the South Fork Salcha fire, north of the Pogo Mine, reached Fairbanks on the 9th. It ended the month at over 8,000 acres. A small wildfire temporarily closed the Richardson Highway near Fairbanks at mile 308 on the 9th.  By the end of June there had been 165 human caused fires that burned about 6,000 acres and 90 lightning caused fires that had burned over 183,600 acres.

And here's the stupid cat picture for the month. Ruty's apparently decided to become a lap cat after ten years of mostly ignoring us.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ridin' the 650...

So after finishing the work on the 650 Mogu (technically it's a V65 Spada, or sword in English, but seriously, who rides a sword?), took it for a ride to see how the new tires worked, Well to be honest, there seemed no difference. But the speedometer was working, so now the worm drive mechanism was fixed. I was happy there were no problems, since I wasn't sure if the spacers on the axles were assembled correctly. At least I was until I came to the junction with the Steese Hwy and the motor died. When it didn't restart, I remembered last fall running out of gas (Last Ride #3....). so switched to reserve and it fired right up. Then turned to get to the nearest gas station that carried premium, not all of them up here sell it, and filled'er up. The rest of the ride was fine, but sometimes it's the little things that'll make it interesting.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Walking tractors....

Back in the day when we were building our cabin, we didn't have time for a garden. But when we were finished, at least with the first part before the additions, we decided to get a "walking tractor" that could be put to multiple use, roto-tilling a garden, snow plowing the driveway, and hauling firewood. After we got one, found it was fine for  roto-tilling, but not so much for everything else.
So eventually we got a real tractor (Retired...2/22/16). After years of not using the walking tractor, figured maybe it was time to sell it. Surprisingly, it fired right up after a few pulls with some new gas. The impeller on the snowblower was cracked and bent in a few places from ingesting rocks on the gravel driveway, so had to sand blast, straighten, weld, and repaint it. Otherwise it just needed some clean up, then put an ad in Craigslist. Go figure, it sold the next day. Maybe I should of asked for more? Well it's gone now so at least there's one less thing in the tool shed to trip over or worry about what to do with it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Retired and refendered...

Back when I was working on the 850, I wound up ordering two sets of tires, since the 650 takes the same size (All Guzzied Up...8/2/15). Now that the 850's done, figured it was time to replace the fenders along with the tires. The 650 had kind of ugly plastic fenders and back one's cracked. Also the rear tail light looks like something out of a bad 50's science fiction movie.
Took the tires in for mounting and balancing at one of the local dealers, so that was no problem. The front fender was from a Honda, got it used on ebay, so had to do some drilling and welding to get it to fit. It looks a lot like the 850s fender.

The rear fender was a little more problematic. It was originally for a Triumph. Got it years ago at a sale of old British bike parts and never found a use for it until now.
The new fender was a little short, so made a spacer out of black HDMW plastic. It's under the seat, so  is pretty much out of sight.
The alloy tail light is a custom part that was used on older Triumphs. Gives the bike more of a vintage look. Also noticed the turn signal wires are frayed, so some new wiring's in order. Then maybe repaint the gas tank and recover the seat. But that's likey next years project.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wet and wetter...

After a week of hot weather, the rains came. We got a little over two inches from late Sat through Mon (that's 51.5 mm to the French). It  didn't set any records but it's more that we usually get, on the average, for the month. We went from hot, dry, red flag (forest fire) weather to an early monsoon.
So my neighbors down the hill took full advantage and spent most of yesterday burning garbage. It doesn't get any better than that!
Sunday morning the rain gage was full. While it never rained hard, it was a steady, soaking rain for almost three days. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Warm and warmer...

Summer must be here, it hit 90° F at Eielson, though it officially was only 89 at the airport, but it still broke the record of 83. We've had a pretty decent run of weather, temperatures were above normal from the end of March to late May. It's a good thing this global warming thing's a hoax.

Correction: The National Weather Service posted this yesterday:
The Fairbanks airport hit 90 degrees Friday. This is the first 90 degree day in Fairbanks since June 26, 2013.

Over a hundred in the sun, that's just way too warm for Alaska!

Here's the NWS's monthly weather summary for May for Fairbanks, Alaska...

May 2017 was another tranquil month in Fairbanks with no record daily high or low temperatures.

The average high temperature for the month of May at the Fairbanks airport was 61.9 degrees which was 0.9 degrees above the normal average high temperature for May of 61.0 degrees. This ranked as the 37th warmest of 112 years of record. The highest temperature recorded at the Fairbanks airport in the month of May was 72 degrees which occurred on the 16th.

The average low temperature for the month of May at the Fairbanks airport was 37.7 degrees which was 0.1 degrees below the normal average low temperature of 37.8 degrees. This ranked as the 34th warmest of 111 years of record. The lowest temperature recorded at the Fairbanks airport in the month of May was 29 degrees on the 2nd.

The average mean temperature for the month of May at the Fairbanks airport was 49.8 degrees which was 0.4 degrees above the normal average temperature of 49.4 degrees. This ranked as the 36th warmest of 111 years of record.

A trace of snow fell on the 26th and was a record snowfall for that date. The trace of snowfall did not change the season to date snowfall of 83.1 inches, which is 18.1 inches above the normal seasonal snowfall of 65.0 inches.

Rainfall at the Fairbanks airport totaled 0.59 inches for the month which was 0.01 inches below the normal rainfall of 0.60 inches. This ranked as the 47th wettest of 104 years of record.

Looking forward to the month of June, the average high temperature continues to increase from 67 degrees on the 1st to 74 degrees on the 30th. The average low temperature increases from 44 degrees on the 1st to 53 degrees on the 30th. The average temperature increases from 56 degrees on the 1st to 64 degrees on the 30th. On average 1.37 inches of rain falls in June in Fairbanks. Snowfall in June in Fairbanks is rare but not unheard of with a handful of days in the climate record recording snow.

Possible daylight continues to increase a nearly 6 minutes per day early in the month with 20 hours and 34 minutes of possible daylight on the 1st. Possible daylight peaks at 21 hours and 49 minutes on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. The solstice occurs at 8:24 PM Alaska Daylight Savings Time on Tuesday the 20th this year. By the 30th of June possible daylight will be decreasing by over 3 minutes per day and will decrease to 21 hours and 29 minutes.

The forecast for the month of June from the Climate Prediction Center calls for near normal normal temperatures and precipitation.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Back to the Black...

Went down to Black Rapids to help my friend Mike do some surveying on the Delta River. Unlike last year when it was cold and windy (Down to the Delta, 5/28/16), we had near perfect weather, sunny, warm, and just enough wind to keep the mosquitos away.

The river was lower this year, so there was no problem launching the boat and installing equipment.

Rather than using the boat to tow the doppler meter, we set up a pulley system and towed the meter with a rope from the shore. Worked fine and safer than boat work during high water.
Here's a photo Mike took while I was operating the pulley system. The gloves he loaned me worked great for gripping the slippery nylon rope and could also help direct traffic!

Wanted to put the boat in at Phelan Creek, but the boat launch was covered by thick shore ice.  The survey on the upper Delta will have to wait until the ice is gone.

Since we couldn't get to the upper Delta, we went down to Paxson Lake. The ice had gone out, so we launched the boat and headed for the lake outlet.

Mike surveying the channel at the lake outlet. Doing it the old fashioned way, with the mechanical meter, puts the man in the water. Bad idea, since it turned out his waders leaked!

Some lakes still had a bit o' ice floating...

While Summit Lake was mostly ice covered.  Gulkana Glacier, in the background, is the source for Phelan Creek.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Some moran put a comment about shoes on all two hundred and something blog posts. There was a link: adidas nmd. Not sure if that was a hidden virus or just some stupid way to advertise, but went ahead and deleted all 200 of them. Didn't exactly make my day. But did get the garden roto-tilled, so at least that's something.
Bought the roto-tiller used about twenty years ago, it dates from the 70's, so it's quite a bit older than the tractor. It's usually difficult to hook up and work on, but today it  mounted easily, needed no major maintenance, and did a fine job on the garden. Almost inconceivable!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Winkin', blinkin', and nod...

When I first got the 850T Moto Guzzi, it was awhile before I figured out that it originally had turn signals (winkers), that were removed by the previous owner. Since most of the bikes I'd ridden never had'em, it didn't seem like a big deal. So it took some time (like maybe twenty years) before I thought to replace 'em. What made it seem like a good idea was when I got a ticket for no seat belt. Now don't get me wrong, wearing your seat belt's great, there just shouldn't be a law about it. I was driving the pickup  home from town, in fact I was parked in front of the mail boxes on the Hot Springs Rd, when I noticed some lights in the rear view mirror. WTF I thought, as the State Trooper walks up, taps on the window, and writes me a ticket for no seat belt. The worst part was he wrote down my hair color as grey; it was still listed as brown on my license, so he added insult to injury. Anyway, it eventually got me to thinkin' that maybe the Guzzi needed to be made legal again.
Found some decent looking turn signals on ebay so ordered two pair. It's funny, they're apparently not DOT approved, so they say only for off road use. Who'd need turn signals for off road use?
The rear wires and plug ins were still there, so they were no problem. The front, not so much. Here's what the headlight wiring looks like:

The only thing I learned from the wiring diagrams I downloaded is that Azzuro = blue, Nero = black, Rosa = red. So with my rudimentary Italian and a volt meter, got all the front wires hooked up. Then it was time for the tail light.
On our last ride in the fall, hit a serious bump and went airborne. Not normally a big deal, but when we got home, noticed that part of the rear tail light was missing.  Now this wasn't a terrible thing, cause I always kind of hated the rear tail light. It looked like something off a Diamond REO truck. So after a little research, saw that the early 70's MoGu's used a similar, but somewhat smaller round tail light that mounted on the same bracket. Suh-weet, I thought, it'll mount right on, so ordered one. Well of course the wiring was totally different, so had to rewire it.  But now that they're on the bike,  the turn signal's a winkin', the brake lights a blinkin', and I can nod off in peace.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Last time out...

After finishing the bridge deck (All decked out...4/25/17), there were still lot's of debris from the demolished deck and unused lumber to haul back. The snow machine sled is really my trail groomer with some metal strips bolted to one side to act like skis. While it works OK on hard packed trails, the warm weather (it's been up nest fifty most afternoons), made for soft, sloppy trails. So after almost getting stuck a few times hauling loads back, finally was forced to use one of the dog sleds. These have plastic on the runners (QCR) that glide well on the wet snow and patches of exposed ground, while the toboggan bed keeps it from sinking in. Of course it's not designed to haul lumber and hooks on with a rope hitch, so it tends to slam into the back of the machine on down hills. Not a good thing for sled longevity.
Fortunately, we had a light frost in the morning, so the trail was somewhat frozen. It was a slow trip down, stopping a lot to make sure the sled handle bars cleared the trees that were leaning into the trail. But made it there, loaded the sled and headed back quickly, while the trail was still frozen, if only slightly. The trip back was uneventful, kind of anticlimactic after the last few days of hurrying to get the bridge deck finished before the snow was gone.
The dog sled came in pretty handy to haul out the last load.

This may be the last blog post for awhile. Got lots to do before we head out of town in a few weeks and not sure if anybody reads this stuff anyway. Maybe later will have something worthwhile to write about. So here's a final photo, the pond near the bridge just after the creek started to flow. Now already filled with water, just the day before it'd been dry, covered with snow. Spring always amazes me at how fast things change up here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All decked out...

Back in the day, the bridge over the creek in the valley behind our place washed out (Bridge Work 4/30/09). It caused a hassle running dogs, since the banks are 6-8 feet high and the creek frequently overflows. I got in the habit of building ramps by shoveling lots of snow After a few years, a local trapper dropped a bunch of trees on the trail in the vicinity of the creek, then went on vacation. So that 's what got me involved, just clearing up his mess and then doing the log work to turn the pile of logs into a timber framed bridge. My neighbor offered to help out with the deck. When I went to see how he was doing. the bridge already had a deck. While I appreciated all his hard work, he used a bunch of oriented strand board (OSB) he had apparently gotten from the dump. Now I know that OSB has taken over a lot of the uses of plywood, but it's not really good for decking, since it readily soaks up water. Over the years, it's been deteriorating, sagging between the log joists. I tried waterproofing it with some old wood preservative stain, but it didn't seem to help. What really doomed the deck was it became a regular part of the local moose trails. While they seldom use it in the winter, the moose apparently cross the bridge in the summer, often punching holes through the soggy OSB. The last few years I spent a lot of time patching holes in the deck. So when I went to shovel off the bridge this spring, it was obvious that the deck was now beyond patching. As much as I didn't want to take on a new project, I wound up spending the last week or so re-decking the bridge.

Forgot the camera the first few trips so don''t have shots of the old deck. It was so full of holes, it reminded me of the pictures of Bosnia during the Serbian war. The pile on the left is the old decking. The strip down the middle is the new plywood, ripped into two foot widths to make it easier to haul with the Ski Doo..

Wound up narrowing the bridge a bit after re-levelling and straightening the logs.

The finished deck. The project was largely completed with scrounged material. The main expense was gas for the Ski Doo and chainsaw and aspirin and vodka for my sore back.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Iron Dog 2...

When the old Ski Doo wouldn't start, it was a setback to my wood cutting plans, since this is the time of year when the trees that fall along the dog trail get bucked up and hauled back (Iron Dog 4/19/09). The local dealer no longer stocks parts for a machine that old, so had to order them from a place in Vermont. Took a week to get here and then a few days to install it. The ignition coils mount underneath the oil tank in a space so small you can only get two fingers in there. I was able to get one bolt fastened, but not the other. Fortunately, Andy offered the services of her long thin fingers, she was able to get the second bolt threaded, so then it was just a matter replacing the plug wires, caps, and spark plugs. It started first pull, so that was pretty good, since I wasn't sure if the coils were the problem.  So then was able to go over the hill, buck up some wood and haul it back. The main problem now is that while snow is melting fast on the south side of the ridge, on the north side, there's still almost two feet of snow on the ground, which makes it harder to find and cut up the downed trees.

The old Ski Doo hauling the wood home. Like me, it's getting older and slower, but still gets the job done.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Last dog run?...

After a week of warm weather, it cooled off, clouded over, and dumped a couple inches of snow. While this will delay spring and all the changes it brings, it also means it's time for one more dog run.

Even though the trail out of the yard was soft and punchy, it was still winter in the valley.

The younger dogs ran great this winter and should be a solid team next year.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Signs of spring...

After an unusually cold March, April has started off quite warm with some firsts:
Been up to 50 for a few days now, the first since last October. 
The first time we've seen gravel since last fall.

And the first time the old Ski Doo wouldn't start. Waiting on parts to replace the ignition coils.

And here's the March weather summary:
Fairbanks had a mean monthly temperature of -3.0°F, a significant 14.4°F below normal. Third coldest on record, only seven of the 111 monthly average temps for March have been below zero. The highest temperature for the month was 48°F occurring on the 31st, while the lowest was -39°F on the 8th.
Precipitation was 0.17”, 0.08” below the normal of 0.25”. Snowfall was measured at 3.5”, 71% of normal, 1.4” below the expected 4.9”. Average snow depth was higher than normal at 26 inches at the end of the month. The highest wind speed was 25 mph from a northeasterly direction on the 15th, while the average wind speed was 3.0 mph.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nugget of a trip...

Years ago Andy and I tried to get to a state parks cabin in the Chena Recreation Area. We never made it in, a combination of encountering overflow on the river and then following the wrong trail. So getting to the cabin became something of a quest. After checking out the the river crossing and confirming the route (Circuitous ramblings on pi day 3/15/17), finally made it to the cabin with my friend Bill.

Heading down the trail. Straight stretches like this were rare.

The dogs parked at the cabin. It was only 7 miles in (about 11 km to the French), so they were still ready for more.

The elusive Nugget Creek Cabin (photo courtesy of Alaska Div. of Parks, since I forgot to take one). It was kind of anti-climatic after waiting all these years to finally get there. It's just an old, kind of run down trappers cabin that the state appropriated, made a few improvements, and then rents it as a  "cozy log cabin with 3 platform bunks on the banks of the South Fork Chena River". The trail in is quite circuitous and could use some realignment(s), but we made it in and out with no serious crashes and the dogs ran great, so like they say,  it just don't get much better than that.
Information on the Chena Recreation Area at:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Circuitous Ramblings on Pi Day

Yesterday was pi day, no not apple, cherry or strawberry rhubarb, but the number pi, 3.1417. Surprised not more was made of it, since it matched our calendar date out to four places this year. But maybe the math nerds are too busy with computer games and/or hacking Facebook, whatever.
Andy and I went out to the park (Last Ride?...10/1/16) to check out some of the trails for a sled dog trip. We've had problems there in the past running into overflow and open water at the river crossings, so we decided to ski in to check it out before bringing the dogs. Back in the day, we did a lot of cross country skiing, winter camping and the like, but hadn't done that in years. When we got into running sled dogs, the skis just languished in the tool shed.

All geared up for the big adventure.

These older wooden skis require waxing. Unfortunately I guessed wrong on the wax, so had lots of grip but no glide. At least I never fell down, likely was stuck fast to the trail, so that's something

Monday, March 6, 2017

February Summary...

Here's the ever popular NWS summary for February:

February 2017 was warm and very snowy with 23.3 inches of snow falling at the Fairbanks airport. The 23.3 inches of snow that fell was 15.2 inches above the normal snowfall of 8.1 inches and ranked as the 6th snowiest February of 106 years of record. Season to date snowfall now totals 78.4 inches as of the 1st of March and is 22.1 inches above the normal season to date snowfall of 56.3 inches. Only 9 other winter seasons have had more snow through the end of February. Snow depth at the Fairbanks airport peaked at 34 inches on the 26th before settling to 32 inches. This is the greatest snow depth at Fairbanks since April of 1993.

The average temperature was 0.7 degrees which was 2.0 degrees above the normal average temperature of 1.3 degrees below and ranked as the 50th warmest of 109 years of record. The warmest temperature during the month of February was 35 degrees above on the 14th and the lowest temperature was 41 below which occurred on the 12th. 

Looking forward to March the temperature climbs sharply as the sun angle and length of day increases. The average daily maximum temperature increases from 18 degrees above on the 1st to 34 degrees on the 31st. The average daily minimum temperature increases from 9 below on the 1st to 8 above on the 31st.

March is on average the driest month in Fairbanks. Normal precipitation is 0.25 inches while normal snowfall is 4.9 inches. In some years the snow pack begins to melt out by late March.

Possible sunshine increases by nearly 7 minutes per day during March,  from 10 hours and 11 minutes on the 1st to 13 hours and 33 minutes on the 31st.

Here's the temperature chart for the winter so far:

What's interesting, to me at least, is the almost cyclical temperature variability this winter. It seems like every ten days to two weeks there's a major shift from warm to cold and then back again. And every warm spell from Decembers on, we got a pretty decent dump of snow. Not a big weather guru, but it seems we haven't had a weather pattern like this since 1990-91 when we set the all time record for snowfall at over 148 in (that's almost four meters to the French).

Another sun dog screen shot from the UAF/GI climate site. If it looks cold, it's cause it is. Been down to thirty below most nights this past week. Where's spring when ya need it!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Snow and more snow...

While February normally has the second lowest snowfall (next to March), this year is different. We've had, according to the NWS, 17 inches of snow this week,  almost two feet for the month, and 72 inches this winter so far  (that's almost two meters to the French). To those not from Alaska, this might not seem like much, but it is when you're running out of places to push it.

The piles next to the driveway are getting too high for the loader. Must be time for a bigger tractor!

Another job well done, at least until the next dump of snow.
Photos courtesy of Andy, who thought the blog needed some tractor porn!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sunny Daze

The one thing I've noticed about these digital cameras is that they seem to need a lot more light to get a decent photo, compared to the older film type cameras. I guess this is maybe a throwback to those who don't know what a kodak camera is, but anyway, the sun was out on the last dog run, I remembered the camera, and the sky and snow don't look gray. So no matter where yah go there yah are...
Heading through the clearing on a new trail. State forestry bulldozed this area to create a fire break about ten years ago. 
Missy takes a turn up front with Jabba . Obi looked like he needed a break, so she got some training in lead. Down to a five dog team now that Barney, Polar, and Spuds are all retired.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sign of the Beast...

Woke up the other day and saw this on the indoor/outdoor thermometer:
I figured it must be a sign of the end of times.  (According to Wikipedia, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist and the number is purportedly used to invoke Satan). Then I remembered the T-Rumpster was president and that confirmed it.
But when the world didn't end that morning, figured the best thing to do was go run some dogs.
Heading out on a new section trail; rerouted due to some major overflow  (aufeis) on the main trail.
Taking a break on the way home. Obi and Jabba have really blossomed as leaders now that Barney's retired. They act like a couple of clowns, chasing each other around the dog yard, but go figure, they're doing great leading the team. You just never know until you put'em up there.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

January Summary...

National Weather Service summary for January for Fairbanks, AK

A very cold airmass moved over the interior during the second week of the month and as skies cleared, temperatures plummeted. Fairbanks experienced its first 40 below since 2015. The temperature continued to drop and the next day the temperature dropped to 51 below at the Fairbanks Airport. This was the first 50 below or colder day since 2012.  There have been three days so far this year when the temperature has reached 40 below or colder. The average temperature was 9.5 below which ranked as the 54th coldest of 109 years of record.

Seventeen inches of snow fell during January at the Fairbanks Airport which was 6.7 inches above the normal January snowfall. This ranked as the 20th snowiest in 107 years of record. Season to date snowfall is now 55.1 inches which is 6.9 inches more than normal.

Looking forward to February, the average maximum temperature increases from 3 degrees above on the 1st to 17 degrees above on the 28th. The average minimum temperature increases from 16 degrees below on the 1st to 10 degrees below on the 28th. The average snowfall in February is 8.1 inches. Available sunshine increases from 7 hours and zero minutes on the 1st to 10 hours and 4 minutes on the 28th.

The outlook for Fairbanks in February from the Climate Prediction Center calls for near normal, temperatures and precipitation.

The main thing that struck me about this winter so far, besides how freakin' cold the forty below spell was, is how often it's snowed. Since late November, it seems like I'm out on the tractor an awful lot, at least compared to the last couple of winters. So one thing I really appreciate this year is having the rear blade hooked to hydraulics.  When we first got the tractor, it had a manual rear blade. To change to angle. you had to remove the clevis pin, push the blade to desired angle, and re-insert the pin. But you couldn't see it very well, since the pin and keeper were underneath the center support, so you had to either crawl underneath it to see it, or take off your gloves and do it by feel. I usually did the latter, my hands near freezing by the time it was done. So when my neighbor Bert offered to help convert it to hydraulics (Hydro Rear 1/23/13), well that was a pretty good deal.

So now every time I'm out plowing and have to change the angle on the rear blade, I appreciate the fine job he did,  making the work a little easier and keeping my hands a whole lot warmer.

Monday, January 30, 2017


After what seemed like a month of clear, cold weather, the chinook rolled through, brought in some clouds, and warmed things up above zero. But what was unusual for a chinook, which usually brings warm, dry weather, it dumped 2-3 inches of snow. So I wound up firing up the tractor to plow the road and driveway, then hop on the ski doo to groom the dog trail. As luck would have it, the clouds started to clear off just when leaving and the temps quickly dropped to nearly twenty below (about minus thirty to the French). But I did remember to grab the camera, so I got a few shots while freezing my butt off down in the valley.
The alpenglow really lit up the clouds...

And had a fine sunset on the way home.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


NWS forecast...
"Southerly flow aloft will push a series of weather systems north over Northern Alaska through the weekend. This will bring temperatures to well  above normal through Thu along with Chinook wind conditions in the SE Interior of Alaska. This will also bring above normal temperatures and periods of light snow to the remainder of northern Alaska through the weekend." Temperatures are expected to rise today to the single digits above zero in the valley and teens to low twenties in the hills.

According to the NWS, a chinook occurs when strong south winds over the Alaska Range block moisture to areas north of the mountains while warming up the air as it descends on the leeward side of the range due to adiabatic heating. While it may not seem like temps. in the single digits are warm, just a few days ago it was forty below and it hadn't been above zero for about a week.

Taking the doggies out for a run is a lot more pleasant now that it's above zero.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More Cold...

The forecast for extreme cold last week (Sun Dog...1/11/17) didn't happen. Instead we got another half a foot of snow. But then came yesterdays forecast...

National Weather Service... Arctic cold to settle into the interior...

"Temperatures will fall to around 40 below for much of the interior over the next 24 hours. Some areas outside Fairbanks may see 55 below before the end of the week.

As the snow ends and skies clear a pool of cold air over the high Canadian Arctic will move southwest into the eastern interior Tuesday and settle in across the interior for the remainder of
the week. Low temperatures in the valleys will fall to 40 to 50 below with the coldest temperatures expected in the upper Yukon Flats may fall to around 55 below. Valley locations will not see much change as highs will be in the 30s to around 40 below."

And this time they were right...

National Weather Service....Extreme Cold Over Interior Alaska...

"Temperatures in the 40s and 50s below have been recorded this morning across Interior Alaska. Areas of dense ice fog have formed in valley locations as well. Hillsides are in the 30s below with hill tops in the 20s below.

These cold temperatures will continue through Thursday night in most areas from Fairbanks west. Clouds will spread to the area east of Fairbanks tonight and Thursday causing a slight moderation of temperatures east of Fairbanks."

Some low temperatures in the Interior this morning...

Fairbanks Airport...........51 below.
Fort Wainwright.............49 below.
Eielson AFB...................53 below.
Little Chena R at 12mi...52 below.
Chena R at 39mi.............53 below.

So we really can't complain about the temp's at our place.

But at least it makes for clear sunny weather...
And it's a great time to split fire wood. The logs almost explode when you whack'em with an axe at 40 below.