Water drops roll off of an icicle in Kenai on Saturday. The current warm weather trend is making many areas around town slick.
It is still winter out there, but the recent severe cold snap appears to have abated, and Kenai Peninsula residents are enjoying somewhat warmer weather, at least for the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.
“For the longest while we were sitting under high pressure, with fairly clear skies. When it’s that way you lose any heat you may receive. It can get bitterly cold,” said Tom Dang, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.
That’s not to say there weren’t periods of snow. There were, evidenced by all the white on the ground. High winds accompanying those storms tended to keep the air on the frigid side.
Then last week things began to warm up and the windy air took on a different feel.
“A low pressure system tracked into the Bering Sea,” Dang said. “Ahead of that, we started seeing a good deal of wind that really started kicking things up.”
Temperatures jumped into the mid-teens to low 20s in the Kenai and Soldotna areas, higher on the lower Kenai Peninsula. Relatively speaking, the air started to feel downright balmy.
In an eight-hour period beginning Wednesday, the thermometer at Portage went from minus 18 degrees to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Early Wednesday morning in Kenai the temperature sat at minus 17 degrees, but by evening had risen to 20. On Tuesday, Soldotna thermometers were registering minus 29. It was 20 on Thursday, a turnaround of 49 degrees. In Homer in a 36-hour period, temperatures went from minus 9 on Tuesday to 36 degrees Wednesday.
“You normally see temperatures change relatively quickly, but not that quickly,” Dang said.
Those warmer temperatures won’t preclude precipitation. Occasional snow is predicted for the central and northern portions of the peninsula, and rain and snow around Homer, with similar conditions expected in Seward along with gusting wind.
Dang did not have snowfall measurements for peninsula communities, but parts of the peninsula have been hit with successive short, intense snow showers over the past week or more. Seldovia was hammered particularly hard, he said. About a week ago, 18 inches fell in one day, Dang said.
Hal Spence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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