Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough schools and state offices are closed Thursday as a third major winter storm this month coated the area with snow overnight Wednesday. “In the past 11 days, we’ve had 41.1 inches of snow which is a lot for Anchorage,” Baines said.
Last week a musk ox gored a 10-year-old Malamute outside of his family’s man camp near the Old Glacier Creek Road. A visiting veterinarian cared for the injured dog commenting on more frequent conflict between musk ox and dogs and an increase in musk ox population.
A week of several freeze and thaw cycles left Nome and the region with puddles on ice and scenes that look more like breakup in spring rather than the customary snowy landscape of December. The rain on ice interrupted normal life in Nome.
All schools in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough are closed Wednesday due to slick roads across the region, as snowfall continues. “This is the heaviest snowfall the Anchorage area has seen in over 20 years,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Justin Shelby. “Our crews are keeping up as best they can.”
December should have sea ice development in Norton Sound. But no sign of ice yet this year. Several storms have moved northward across the western Bering Sea and brought strong winds and bouts of above freezing weather to the Teller area and all of the Bering Strait region.
More than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized in the state since early spring. Since the first case of a deadly strain of avian flu was detected in Alaska in May, more than 1,000 domestic poultry and hundreds of wild birds have died or needed to be euthanized.
An avian influenza outbreak is to blame for the deaths of more than 13,000 birds, many of them pelicans. More than 5,500 pelicans have died in Peru in recent weeks due to an outbreak of bird flu. Several beaches are littered with the carcasses of the dead animals and some have also been found in protected areas.
An "extreme" lake-effect storm that dumped 77 inches in Orchard Park has left the Buffalo metro area, but forecasters from the National Weather Service warn that blowing snow on Sunday could make travel difficult.The storm turned deadly for a couple of men who died of heart attacks while clearing snow. "It can be very, very dangerous for some individuals, people who have high blood pressure, people who have any type of cardiac history, to go out and shovel the snow, especially right now, because the snow is so heavy," said Burstein.
Kale is sprouting even though it's mid-November. Eucalyptus, rock rose, and Lenten roses don’t seem to be in the mood for winter, as they still wear their summer colors of green and red. It has been warm over almost all of the country, and never in the history of the capital has been a hotter November than this year.
A black bear cub in Southeast Alaska was sick last month with bird flu, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The cub found in Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, is only the second instance of highly pathogenic avian influenza being diagnosed in a bear amid an ongoing outbreak. Health officials say risk to mammals, including people, remains low.
Just over a year ago, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game applied the pesticide rotenone to two lakes and a stream in the remote Miller Creek drainage on the northern Kenai Peninsula to eradicate the last known population of invasive northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula.
In early October Vancouver Island reached a drought Level 4 which impacted wildlife across the coast. After a mass salmon die off in Bella Bella, concern grew regarding drought and a delayed salmon spawning season. Currently east Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 3, which means adverse impacts are possible, while west Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 2 with less likely impacts. Dave Rolson, Tseshaht First Nation’s fisheries manager, said, “Timing is everything, really, when it comes to fish and when it comes to environmental conditions.”
The Bering Sea’s cold pool, a critical part of the seafloor ecosystem, had shrunk to a worrying degree in recent years, but it is continuing to slowly return, according to the latest results of NOAA’s bottom trawl survey. Saffron cod, also called tomcod, seems to be bouncing back after a few bad years, and Arctic cod and blue king crab numbers were also better.