From too much snow -- to not enough, the contrast between this winter and last is very apparent.
To put it into numbers, Anchorage is seeing more than a 45 inch difference in snow fall from January 5, 2013 to the same time last year (Graph of 2012 snowfall totals compared to 2013 winter here). The National Weather Service said Sunday, while things may seem sparse around town this actually isn't a record breaking lack of snow and we still have chance of adding to our snowfall numbers.
Some cross-country skiers can’t wait for the additional inches of snow.
“It's kind of a disappointment after last year, but I think anything would be because we got so much snow last year,” said skate skier Janey Hoefler.
By January 5, 2012 Anchorage had 70.8 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service and by January 5 this year there have been 25 inches of recorded snowfall, but only about nine inches remain after the recent warm weather.
“It was definitely an extreme, last year had a record of 135 [inches],” said National Weather Service Dave Stricklan, “So then this year, we're not the lowest it's ever been, but it's pretty low.”
Some cross-country skiers are even still using their rock skis far into the season.
“There’s definitely dry patches and you come across rocks and twigs and stuff but we have snow makers now so there is some loops that we can ski on,” said Hoefler.
For others, this season has been better for enjoying the outdoors thanks to the warmer weather.
“She’s a good sport but it doesn't last long, 30 minutes tops,” said Opal’s parents Mera Mathews and Chester Gilmore.
Opal was born around this time last year and her parents say it was too cold for the family to enjoy activities outside with a newborn.
“We didn't get to enjoy all the snow last year really at all,” said Mathews, “So this year doesn't seem so bad.”
We may be far from last year’s snowfall numbers, but whether that's good or bad is really a matter of perspective.
Contact Mallory Peebles