Saturday, March 13, 2010

March Blizzards

We have finally finished digging out from the 2 back-to-back blizzards that started a week ago. Maybe as much as 24" of snow fell in the first raging storm with a short break on Sunday and then a 2nd stronger storm hit, described by weather forecaster Bob Hopkins: “It was a blizzard that just kept going. It seems like it should be some kind of record. What we are seeing is hurricane force winds of  more than 64 knots that sent out a wide-spread storm from the Aleutians to the Alaska Peninsula, to Kodiak and Kenai Peninsula.” The forecast had predicted a paltry three to eight inches of snowfall for Homer on Tuesday, turned into several feet of snow blowing into drifts of as much as 12 feet. 


It was one year ago in Red Deer, Alberta that we ran headlong into a "Alberta clipper" on our returning trip to Alaska. The day had started nice in Helena, but the wind was screaming as is often the case along the front range of the northern Rockies. North of Calgary, we began to see dark clouds on the horizon to the north and as we approached, the on-coming traffic began to show increasing snow. As daylight faded just south of Red Deer, we hit a wall of snow forcing traffic to drop to a blind crawl. We, as most, exited at the first chance and hunkered down. We sat the storm out confined to our camper for the next 36 hours. On the 2nd morning, with clearing weather, we were able to resume our trip north, but in a much colder world as the temperature plummeted on the back side of the storm. The next night we spent in Dawson Creek with the lows near -40. The rest of trip up the Alaska Hwy was cold and blanketed with above average snow pack but uneventful. A few shots along the way: 


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