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The Northern Climate Observer


Blizzards and Blossoms There are big extremes occurring across the North since the end of March. In Alaska, unseasonably cold weather has people checking their calendars and wondering what happened to April. A blizzards brought the Kobuk 440 sled dog race to a standstill and nearly froze some of the teams. Meanwhile in Kyoto, Japan, the cherry blossoms had their earliest bloom (March 26) since records started, in the year 812. See also video and images of wind blown lake ice in Jessnesstranda, Norway and Säkylä, Finland. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Shungnak, Alaska, United States
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News / April 10, 2021

After he lost the trail, Jeff King stopped his dog team and draped his sleeping bag over his head to block the battering wind and blowing snow. He was somewhere between the villages of Ambler and Shungnak in the Kobuk 440 Sled Dog Race. Conditions ranged from howling to furious. King lay down with his team. He cuddled a dog named Twister and tried to sleep. That’s when a flaw in the plan rattled his bones. The work of getting there had caused him to sweat, dampness worsened by blowing snow that found its way inside his clothing.

Read article on Anchorage Daily News



Juneau, Alaska, United States
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire / April 9, 2021

March had a formidable amount of snow with more than 33 inches of recorded snowfall. But its not enough to break the 2007 record of more than 62 inches. At least one segment of town probably doesn't mind the snow. Eaglecrest Ski Area recently cleared 500 inches this season.

Read article on Juneau Empire



Dunbeath, Scotland, United Kingdom
BBC News / April 12, 2021

Many parts of Scotland had snow over the weekend, including the Highlands and Aberdeenshire, with low temperatures across much of the country. Temperatures dipped to -9.4C overnight at Tulloch Bridge in the Highlands.

Read article on BBC News



Säkylä, Satakunta, Finland
Yle Uutiset / April 6, 2021

Strong winds have created a picturesque wall of ice on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärv. "This often happens at this time of year on the shores of larger lakes and on the sea shore," Huutonen said, adding that there were gale force winds in the area over the weekend.

Read article on Yle Uutiset



Ringsaker, Norway
Marte Iren Noreng Trøen / NRK / April 11, 2021

Ole Martin Mortvedt was following a large ice floe floating on the lake. "Suddenly I heard a lot of crunching in the ice. Then I turned and saw the ice floe had hit land. It had such great speed that it could not stop." Mortvedt says he has never seen anything like it in his 58-year-long life.

Read article on NRK



Morgan Krakow / Anchorage Daily News / April 9, 2021

Muldrow Glacier on the north side of Denali is surging for the first time since the 1950s — moving 50 to 100 times faster than its usual pace. The surge was first glimpsed by K2 Aviation pilot Chris Palm last month. “I was thinking it looks really difficult to get onto the glacier right now,” Palm said. “It’s all shattered and torn up and jagged ice and deep crevasses everywhere.” The event could impact mountaineers scheduled to use the north approach to the mountain .

Read article on Anchorage Daily News



Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
BBC News / March 30, 2021

The 2021 season in the city of Kyoto peaked on 26 March, according to data collected by Osaka University. The city has experienced an unusually warm spring this year. Increasingly early flowerings in recent decades are likely to be as a result of climate change.

Read article on BBC News



Taymyr Peninsula, Russia
Atle Staalesen / Eye on the Arctic / March 30, 2021

Parts of Northern Siberia were up to 7℃ warmer than normal in 2020. The warming is the most significant along parts of the North Siberian coast, and especially around the peninsulas of Taymyr and Yamal. This has been brought on, in part, by polar vortex on the Arctic coast.

Read article on Eye on the Arctic



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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