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Alaska faces ‘Icemageddon’ after record-breaking warm weather

Why Alaskans are worried about ice after a major heat wave

A woman walks in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
A woman walks before dawn in Toksook Bay, Alaska, a mostly Yuip’ik village on the edge of the Bering Sea. Alaska has had itself a week of sun, warmth and record-breaking heat temperatures. And now, the state faces “Icemageddon.”
Gregory Bull, Associated Press

Alaska has had itself a week of sun, warmth and record-breaking heat temperatures.

And now, the state faces “Icemageddon.”

Per BBC News, temperatures in Alaska climbed to 67 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday, specifically on the island of Kodiak. That’s higher than the state’s previous high, which was seven degrees cooler at 60 degrees

  • However, the rest of Alaska has seen record low temperatures. For example, the town of Ketchikan saw temperatures drop to negative 0.4 degrees on Dec. 25.
  • “The South has been running 35 degrees above normal. In the North, temperatures have been 25 degrees below normal,” according to CNN.

There are now warnings of an “Icemageddon” in Alaska. Though it sounds like more doom and gloom, the phrase is a references to the “torrents of rain and snow” that “have left ice as hard as cement coating the roads,” according to BBC News.

  • Experts told BBC News that warm air from Hawaii made Alaska’s air more moist, which led to heavy rain and snowstorms.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities warned on Twitter that it will be hard for people to drive on roads during this time.

  • “Ice is extremely difficult to remove once it has binded to the road surface. Even though air temps were warm during #icemageddon2021, roads were at sub-zero temps, which caused ice to bind to the surface,” the department tweeted.