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Gloomy weather? 'It's Alaska. We just go for it.'

Posted: Monday, July 12, 2010

While the East Coast is having a heat wave, Alaska residents are experiencing a typical rainy summer.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Clouds sprout like mushrooms above hills in the Kenai Mountains recently. Clouds have been common so far this summer.

"It's been very depressing," said Theresa Patrick of Kenai. "It was like, 'where's summer?' I've lived here 20 years and it's like summer isn't here."

Patrick said she feels like she can't enjoy her own hometown with gloomy weather.

"You can't plant flowers or nothing," she said. "I would've gone camping if it was nicer weather."

"I haven't even got a sun tan this year and usually I have freckles everywhere," Patrick added.

According to Shaun Baines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage, a stationary low-pressure system above 20,000 feet in the atmosphere is to blame for the recent overcast weather.

He said the upper-levels, which drive all the weather on the surface, have been stagnant over the Bering Sea, causing the clouds and rain.

"We tend to get this a lot in the summer, they are more stationary," Baines said. "Whatever weather you have you're going to continue to see."

This summer's weather is a far cry from the warm and gorgeous weather the state experienced last year.

"Last year high temperatures in Anchorage were in the upper 60s to upper 70s in early July," Baines said.

That is opposed to this month's low 50-degree temperatures so far.

"It was definitely warmer last year at this same time," Baines said.

Tiffney Carlson of Kenai said she has not liked the weather as of late but it does not put a damper on her family's plans.

"We still go fishing everyday after work," she said.

That's a similar sentiment that Kenai resident Chris Duncan had, who seemed to accept all weather conditions.

"It's Alaska. We just go for it," he said, adding he goes camping and fishing in whatever the weather.

However, it still foiled some residents' plans.

"It rained out one of our bike rides," said Loralee Anderson of Kenai, who was enjoying Friday's burst of sunshine in a tank top and sunglasses.

At least residents can take some comfort in the fact that this summer's weather is better than two years ago.

The summer of "2008 was even colder and cloudier than this year is," Baines said.

But, he said, Kenai Peninsula residents can look forward to some sunnier weather in the near future.

"We are changing from the pattern we've been in for the last month or month and a half. I think we'll begin to see more nice days at least for the next couple of weeks," Baines said.

He said the upper-level pattern is going to become more progressive in the next couple of days, breaking up the clouds and rain.

Currently, the weather is forecasted to be clear for the beginning of the week with a period of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday and then a possibly some sunshine Thursday and Friday, Baines said.

That means the rays might shine through the clouds just enough that Patrick, and the rest of the Peninsula, can get a tan.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.



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