I took my walk at 3:00 PM and was delighted to see that the sky was finally beginning to clear. Good. Maybe it will get cold again. Around here, in winter time, clear skies mean cold weather and overcast warm. November was a good month - clear and cold most of the time.
But December horrible - we got blasted by a train of storms that orginated in the South Pacific and then got nasty when they reached Alaska and smacked into the cold air coming down from the Arctic. That's what this place is - a battleground between cold air coming down from the Arctic and warm air coming up from the Pacific.
In the summer, just the opposite. Then the cold air comes off the Pacific and the warm from the north, heated by the sun that shines all day to generate temperatures that can climb into the mid and upper 90's and, at Fort Yukon, where winter can go to -78, even to 101 degrees.
Over the weekend, as had happened the week before - the warm air got the better of the cold, but the conflict between the two set off some helacious winds, exceeding 100 miles per hour in some places and even over 110.
I did not mention it in last night's post, but on the drive in to Lisa's birthday party, our Ford Escape nearly got blown off the road several times. As we crossed the Palmer Hay Flats, we had a 90 degree crosswind and the Flats is one of the windiest places around.
The temperature climbed above 40 degrees and the snow turned to rain -- rain that blew so viciously that even as we were buffeted practically off the highway, we were sometimes blinded, too.
It was a scary ride.
In some nearby places, the snow never did turn to rain, it just turned to wet snow, driven by hurricane force winds - a hellacious blizzard of wet, driving, snow.
And even if the temperature was warm, no one caught in it would ever have known it.
Oddly enough, when we drove home a few hours later, the wind had dropped to perfectly still.
The temperature dropped a bit, the rain turned back to snow and today, after the sun went down, I saw clear sky - as you can see here.
So maybe it will get cold again. I hope so. I have not looked at any forecasts. Sometimes, if it is not in my vital interest to check the forecast, I prefer just to watch the weather develop as it will, and to observe and speculate what it will do next based on what I see.
Now I speculate that it is going to chill down.
But I also fear that another storm born in the South Pacific might already be headed this way.
I hope not.
I want it to be cold. Ten below, 20 below, 30 - even 40 below would be okay with me.
I might freeze, but still I would be okay with it.
Margie wouldn't, though.
She would be talking every day about how we should go back home to Arizona.
See, to Margie (and Lavina, too), "home" will always be Arizona.
Me, I love Arizona and especially Margie's White Mountains and wish we had the means to spend more time there.
But "home" is Alaska.
Only Alaska can ever be home to me.
This has been true all my life, even before I knew it - and I knew it when I was boy, as soon as I figured out there was an Alaska.
I was born into exile, you see - an Alaskan, born in Ogden, Utah.
But finally I made it home.
And dragged my poor wife from her home.
Of course, I have said all of above before and some of you might now be yawning, but maybe some others of you missed it.
I took my coffee break immediately after my walk - at 4:00 PM, when I headed to Metro Cafe. Coming home, I reshot the scene that appeared on this blog on December 9 - just four days ago. See what a difference a little bit of new snow makes?