You say you’re feeling a little down in the dumps, just dragging yourself through the tedium of the daily routine and wrung out by lassitude and ennui? Is that your problem, Bunky?
In case you hadn’t noticed, you’ve been living under cloud.
More correctly, a whole sky full a huge depression stretching from western Canada to Bristol Bay that has kept the Kenai Peninsula covered in gray and folks dodging showers as they go about their business.
Blame the Canadians. They’re enjoying a high-pressure zone and a ridge of warm air that’s turning miles and miles of rain-heavy clouds roiling up from the North Pacific back into Southcentral Alaska from the southeast.
Fortunately, that forces them to flow over mountain ranges before they hit the western Kenai Peninsula and the Anchorage Bowl, so while it’s gray out there, it isn’t as wet as it might have been, even if it feels that way.
“It’s just a lot of flow from the south,” said meteorologist John Papineau, with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. “There’s this big ridge over western Canada, so any kind of disturbance to the west comes up along the west side of that and is forced northward into Alaska.”
The resulting winds blow through gaps in the mountains down Turnagain Arm and Kachemak Bay, but generally the mountains tend to act like big squeegees, pulling much of the rain from the clouds.
Many residents remember the sunny springs of last year and 2004. Perhaps we’ve become a little spoiled. Data shows, however, that this spring is not that much cooler overall than 2005 and 2004 a few degrees perhaps, but still posting highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit.
“It’s just that there has been so much cloud cover,” Papineau said. “It’s the human effect; we don’t feel as warm when it’s cloudy.”
We can expect more of the same for probably another week. Another major system is headed our way tomorrow and will likely follow the same curving path into Alaska up from the south, only to be forced west by the high pressure over Canada, he said.
But there is always hope. The fact is, historically Alaska weather patterns rarely last more than 10 days to two weeks.
“I wouldn’t be surprised that in the next week we see a major shift in the pattern over the North Pacific,” Papineau predicted.
The latest weather model usually good for five or six days suggests mostly cloudy through the weekend with occasional showers. Again, the mountains are likely to rob the clouds of much of their moisture before they reach us, so carry an umbrella, though you may not need it.
Weary of the weather?
Blame our depression the weather kind, that is on Canada. A high-pressure zone over our neighbor to the east is pushing rain-heavy clouds our direction. The clouds dump most of their moisture over the mountains before they reach the Kenai Peninsula, but a few sprinkles manage to make it through. Forecasters predict more of the same through the week.
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