Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sometimes living in Alaska kinda sucks, today it blows!

Courtesy of ADN:

The Anchorage area was battered by extremely high winds overnight, especially on the Hillside, where gusts exceeding 100 mph were recorded. At 5 a.m., a peak gust of 118 mph was recorded at Glen Alps, according to the National Weather Service. 

Scattered power outages are reported across the city, especially on the Hillside. As of 8:30 a.m., Chugach Electric reported 25 to 30 outages, mainly on the Hillside, involving between 500 and 1,000 dwellings. 

There have been some reports of property damage, fallen trees and flying debris. 

By the way, I live near Hillside and I estimate we were getting winds VERY close to 80 miles per hour.

This was my tweet from last night.

We are having a Chinook in Anchorage. And it is "Chinooking" the hell out of the trees behind my house. Power going out in 3..2..1 
11 hours ago via Twitter for iPad

Literally only minutes after I tweeted that my power kicked off for just a second, forcing me to get up and reset my household clocks.

I had NO idea that Mother Nature even had a Twitter account. Or such a highly developed sense of humor.

Anyhow I am hunkered down in my liberal leaning man cave for the duration, fingers crossed against any further interruption with the power. (That's what atheists do to ward off evil weather, we cross our fingers.)

By the way for those who are confused, this is what a Chinook wind is defined as:

The reference to a wind or weather system, simply "a Chinook", originally meant a warming wind from the ocean into the interior regions of the Pacific Northwest (the Chinook people lived near the ocean, along the lower Columbia River). A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below −20 °C (−4 °F) to as high as 10–20 °C (50–68 °F) for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base levels.

They can be a welcome reprieve from cool temperatures, but the high winds can seem to negate that benefit completely.


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    It's a blast from Boreas.

    0/T -

    Everyone, write to your senators to ensure that this bill, which permanently bans horse slaughter, will be re-introduced.

  2. Anonymous10:33 AM

    It's making a terrible mess of everything! It will be 20 again by tonight and all of these lovely puddles will freeze....yuck! The snow is ruined before the season ever got started.

    Our winds in Wasilla were the usual 60-70mph gusts; enough to move a large storage cabinet I have on my deck about a foot. Thankfully we didn't get the really high winds.

    Anyone else notice that this has been a pattern for the last 5 years or so? Lots of melting spells, "mini break ups" during the winter. It used to be that it got cold, snowed and you had that same snow in April when the real break up rolled around.

    I don't like playing in the rain in December!

  3. hedgewytch10:56 AM

    I'm in Prince William Sound. I've been listening to the ice and snow falling off the roof all weekend. Down here in Coastal land we call this kind of warm, windy weather a Pineapple Express, as it comes right up the Gulf of Alaska from Hawaii. Which just pushes my buttons a little to know I still have a few months to go before my annual early spring vacation to the Islands.

  4. Anonymous11:02 AM

    @10:31 You do realize that makes things WORSE?

    I'm a horse person too, but when you ban slaughter in the U.S., it doesn't stop it from happening in Canada and Mexico - and shipping horses cross country to slaughter is horrific.

    Check out this with photos, and then tell me a U.S. ban is a good thing? Not while there are premarin farms.

  5. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Hell's Bells! We've been extremely windy here in CA, too. SoCal just got hammered with some of the worst Santa Ana winds in history! Stay safe and I hope everyone gets thru the nasty AK weather intact.

  6. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Sand and gravel schrapnelling cars on the Seward Highway. If you value your paint job, stay off the highway.

  7. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Also known as the pineapple express. Nice to live on a hill that is now sheer ice. NOT.

    This has been a normal December occurrence for many years. Just came a bit earlier than usual this year.

  8. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Off topic ut I dont know where else to put this...have you seen Beyonce's new interview about her pregancy. There are many odd things about it, including the reporter grabbing her stomach without warning. But the biggest thing that stood out to me wa how she, LIKE SARAH, made it seem like truthers were attcking her baby. HUGE Palin diversion technique. She said her mom and sister were very protective "about people talking bad about" the baby. When we all know no one is talking about the baby. -E

  9. When I lived in Juneau, it was the Taku wind. In LA, it is the Santa Ana wind. I'm not sure what they call the one on the southern Oregon coast that blows 90+ even in July. They have amazing force and have regional pathways. Kinda cool unless you find yourself in an uncontrolled slide toward a ditch because of high wind. In Nevada, the semis have to pull over or they are blown ditchward. Wind is nature's "hey you!"

  10. Anonymous11:37 AM

    @11:02 - you are conflating things. Banning horse slaughter doesn't not relate to TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS. Wow. Way to misconstrue, mislead, confuse things.

  11. And don't forget water in the basement from a too rapid melt. Shop vacs out - just what I wanted to do on Sunday.

    Ice day tomorrow for ASD?

  12. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Anon at 10:31AM, I understand your sentiment, but when you read of the thousands of horses abandoned in Texas and other states due to owners who have NO recourse, you must rethink your position. I own horses but I can afford the $150 to $200 a month feed bill (and lets not forget the farrier, vet, grain, bedding, medicines, and vaccinations they need as well). I love my horses and have done rescues as well as housed horses for folks who can't afford to keep them. Just peruse the latest articles about the abandoned horses due to drought. What is better a HUMANE slaughter (not the butchery of the past) or the slow death due to starvation and lack of water. I know what I would choose for my horses and it would be the former.

  13. Anonymous12:01 PM

    We here in WA State have generators for just that occasion...

  14. Anonymous12:11 PM

    For 11:02 -

  15. To the OT commenter talking about Beyonce. Made me laugh. Thanks. Although I generally don't pay much attention to celeb gossip, the Beyonce fake preggers story has been entertaining, mostly because of the unresolved Sarah pregness of Trig. That Beyonce went for the "attacking my baby" meme that Sarah has been spewing for years makes me automatically lean toward mocking her. Nobody attacks babies. Nobody has attacked babies. Nobody has any interest in attacking babies. We just mock people who seem to have baby truth issues. That's all I've really seen. And I saw that folding Beyonce belly video. Just makes me shake my head and think that somebody has truth issues. Entertaining, puzzling, not worth more than entertainment value at best.

  16. Anonymous12:33 PM

    O/T @11:43 - Stop buying horses then. You cannot afford them. And "humane slaughter"? Really? Take a look -

    I'll stop now. Sorry, Gryphen. Not trying to hijack a thread.

  17. Andrea12:37 PM

    Wow, thanks for the AK weather update! I live near Calgary, Alberta where Chinooks are most common (I didn't realize any other place on the continent called them that!) Last week we had a Chinook lasting several days, and Calgary was clobbered with winds gusting to 140km/hr (about 87 mph) which ripped HUGE windows out of downtown office buildings and tore trees up everywhere!

  18. I know the winds are dangerous but maybe that is why they excite me.

    Wind is transformation.

    My mom just died this week - she was a quadriplegic for many, many years so I am delighted she is free of that body - but she had also been a full-time job to manage her needs and keep my life together.

    This wind is transformation, for me, as well.

  19. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Hi, Sorry this is OT Gryphen,
    but I thought you might want to do a post about Rick Santorum's daughter, Bella.

    I feel like this "Trisomy' connection may be Palin's reason for talking him up on Hannity out of nowhere...

    Poor sweet little girl. my heart goes out to her mom.

  20. Anonymous1:59 PM

    @11:37 A.M. It certainly does, and it isn't JUST the accidents. It is the shipping itself that is cruel and inhuman. Many of these horses were full grown drafters - in a cattle truck that in no way could accommodate their height - and stuffed in it like cattle.

    Both Canada and Mexico allow slaughter - do you really think banning it in the US is going to stop it?

    If you want to do something start by telling all the over 50 women you know how Premarin is made. then point out that there is a synthetic that works just fine. Or get Premarin production banned.

  21. Anonymous2:03 PM

    @12:33 stop buying horses - that isn't where a lot of slaughter horses come from. In order to produce Premarin, the mares have to be kept pregnant. NOW do you get it?

    Just like the cause of VEAL is eating cheese and drinking milk - but most people want to ignore that they are the cause of an industry they supposedly abhor. Sucks to realize you've been complicit - huh?

  22. Anonymous2:14 PM

    As they say, Juneau is the asshole of Alaska and Anchorage is 3000 miles up it. Why would anyone live in Alaska if it wasn't for having to live their for work? Or to hide from something or somebody. Sarah?

  23. Anonymous2:55 PM

    @2:03 /11:02 - you did not read the links we posted. You are ignoring that there is no humane slaughter for horses. False premise on your part. Read the links, pls.

  24. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Sorry Gryphen, but this is small potatoes. When the power goes out here, it goes out for days or weeks. And we're talking hundreds of thousands of homes. Try finding a hotel/motel with power and vacancy. During the last outage, my parents slept in their winter coats. I asked why they didn't stay with my brother? No power either. During Irene, my cousin flushed her toilet with pool water for 3 weeks.

    During these long outages, we're kept assured that National Grid is working around the clock to get everyone's power on. My guess is they're "going lean", in other words understaffing. I've been through the blizzard of '78, Gloria, Bob and the no-name storm, to name a few.

    Why, in the past 5 years, have the outages gotten longer and longer? Could it be because they care less about their customers and employees than their bottom line?

  25. Kimosabe3:36 PM

    Bretta @ 1:30

    So sorry about your loss. Sounds like it was no surprise and perhaps an unburdening, for both of you. Still, it is very hard to lose your mother.

    Always enjoy your posts. And your weird little picture.

  26. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Bretta @1:30

    My condolences on your loss, I read your blog post and it is the most touching tribute to your Mother. That level of trust is truly amazing.

    I lost my father four years ago, moved into his home to be his caretaker, and those conversations we had were the most precious gifts he'd ever given me.

  27. Gasman8:47 PM

    Crossing your fingers is like the atheist rosary.

    Don't envy you weatherwise, but we had an 88 mph gust in Albuquerque a couple of days ago. Tonight it is getting down fairly cold - especially since we were in the 50s and 60s last week. They are saying some of the Northern mountains could be -10. For us that's a bit colder than normal, especially since it ain't even winter yet. Anywhere from 6-16" of snow here in the mountains. Tomorrow could either be great - SNOW DAY - or a bitch. Our weather is not as fucking cold nor as LONG as yours in Alaska, but we do seem to change mighty quickly.

    I've got the pellet stove blazing and I've got a good supply of decent gin, so I'm set. Unless I get a generator or a battery back up, my pellet stove is useless without power. We'd freeze. I hope your power stays on.

    Stay muy caliente, mi amiqo.


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