Alaskans wonder: where’s winter?


Many Alaskans are wondering if the earth is tilting differently on its axis this year.

That’s because the first signs of winter haven’t appeared in most places, even though the calendar shows it’s well into December.

As of last week, snow had yet to fall on Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. In Fairbanks, they’ve seen freezing rain – but no snow.

On the Arctic coast, shore-fast ice is slow to form, and many hunters are still unable to go seal hunting on the ice.

An AP report last week quoted a National Weather Service meteorologist as saying that the biggest factor causing this year’s warming trend is El Nino, a large area of water in the Pacific Ocean that affects wind and water patterns.

A high-pressure ridge on the British Columbia coast is channeling warm, moist air into Alaska. But weather officials say global warming may be a factor too.

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