Weather Eye: Snow will press south, but how far?



It is always fun to look back and see what was happening a year ago. Here is a paragraph from my column on Jan. 16, 2011:

“It is a good weekend to stay inside and pursue indoor activities, that’s for sure. The rain was coming down Saturday evening faster than it could run off, making lakes and ponds just about everywhere. Sunday will be no exception as a long plume of subtropical moisture streams our way, then showers later tonight and Monday. Could be worse — at least you don’t have to shovel it, right?”

Not exactly our weather this weekend, but maybe later in the week after the cold air retreats, we’ll have a threat of milder Pacific air and maybe lots of rain.

Alaska is sure getting its share of winter weather, with record cold and snow. So much snow in some parts that they are having difficulty getting rid of it and snow shovels are commanding a premium. The Coast Guard is cutting through the ice to help a Russian tanker bring fuel oil to the town of Nome before it runs out. More than 26 feet of snow has fallen at Valdez, and Anchorage had 88 inches as of Thursday. With three months or so to go, they may end up with their snowiest winter.

So there’s lots of cold air up north, and some will get bottled up in B.C. as well as the fight of the air masses begins. I believe we will end up on the southern edge of the boundary and stay mild and wet, but a shift of a few hundred miles as the jet stream oscillates could change all that.

Bottom line is, expect a very active weather pattern for probably the remainder of the month. Enjoy whatever snowflakes fall before we shift back to rain and wind.

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at