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Ag. Weather Outlook 2-11-2014

by Tim Abramowski

It was 1959.  Alaska has just become the 49th state.  I was in junior high and my principal had become enamored with America’s last frontier. I remember him shining a flashlight on a world globe to help us visualize why there was no sunshine up that way this time of year and why the far north was even colder than our school cafeteria.  I looked it up today and – sure enough, the North Pole won’t see the Sun for another 36 days while further south along the Arctic Circle it’s now up daily about seven and a half hours.  Then there was that Johnny Horton song ‘North to Alaska,’ the theme to a John Wayne movie out about a year later.  I remember tracing a finger north to our newest state.  I kept moving my finger north imagining radar installations alert for a Soviet air armada, past the ice sheet over a then completely frozen Arctic Ocean – all the way to where that little cross on the globe indicated the North Pole.  Now where do you go?  …Turns out there’s only one way – south.  …no more north, east or west – just south…  It’s a strange place up there.  Some of its weather will keep visiting us for another week.  By Monday we could break the freezing mark even as another dusting of snow falls.  We’ll continue to get two or three extra minutes of sunlight each day.  Sooner or later that’s got to lead to warmer temperatures as the Sun creeps higher overhead – just like Ralph’s flashlight on the globe did 55 years ago.  Until then – if I had the option I’d pass the North Pole and head south.

Rick Shields.