Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Going To Be 16 Degrees Overnight

“Whew,” I thought. “Good thing we’re not in Alaska. It may be cold here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but at least we’re not living in Seward’s Icebox, as they called the place when we bought it from the Russkis.”

Temps tonight are going to be 16 frigid degrees here, which is a lot better than Juneau’s ...uh... 34? Thirty-four degrees overnight in Juneau, Alaska? Yeah; that’s what says: 34 in Juneau, 16 in Wilkes-Barre. Crazy.

Go to Alaska in the winter to warm up.

There is an explanation for that and it’s called the Japan Current. Similar to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, it flows up to the Pacific Northwest and on to Southeast Alaska where Juneau is located. That whole area of Alaska is a rainforest, the type of thing usually thought of as restricted to the upper areas of South America. True, you won’t be eaten by pythons dropping out of trees and there aren’t monkeys chattering as they jump from branch to branch, but weather conditions are idea for tree growth.

They are also conducive to fairly mild summers and winters. The temperatures usually do not go much above 75 and not much lower than 25. Within that 50 degree range lies the capital of Alaska, a place we usually identify with snowshoes, midnight suns and other events that really belong much further north. Igloos, too; but those don’t exist anywhere, as I learned when I visited the Arctic some years back. Just another urban legend in this very non-urban part of the state.


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

16°? Bring 'em on, I'll take 'em. These are plus degrees aren't they? (We've had our share of minus 16's).

January 29, 2007 4:26 PM  

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