Trails at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park are snowy-white, despite record-low snowpack
In an average year, you’d be able to measure over a foot of snow at Anchorage’s Kincaid Park, but this year there’s not even an inch.
The snow has been measured at the same spot in the park every February first since 1992.
In 2016, that measurement set a new record for low snow pack. Typically you’d see about 15 inches this time of year.
The low snow in Anchorage has made it tough for winter recreation, but that’s not necessarily the case an Kincaid.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that there is this much snow out here,” said Mike Miller, Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage board member.
The fresh snow was falling today, but Mother Nature can only take partial credit.
If the temperature, humidity and winds are just right, then the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage can make the snow fall.
“It needs to be probably 22 degrees and 95 percent or less humidity, and you need to have that for a sustained period,” said Miller.
Those conditions have been few and far between this year.
“We’ve only been able to make snow I think 2 or 2 and a half days in January,” said Miller.
But Thursday was one of those days, making the difference between being able to ski or not this weekend.
“We wouldn’t be skiing is the short answer,” said Miller.
Dick Mize has been hitting the runs on his cross-country skis since 1971 and was glad he didn’t have to take a year off.
He gets out to Kincaid Park five to six times a week and he says he’s never seen anything quite like these last two years, but he’s thankful to have the man-made snow in the park.
“It’s a real asset to the community to have the Nordic Association continuing to make snow and make it skiable for us,” said Mize.
This story of low snow is not consistent across the state though. The maps below show the snowpack across Alaska.
On the first map, the areas in blue, green and yellow are seeing at least 70 percent of normal snow, but the areas in orange are barely seeing 50 percent. In the second map you can see the sites that are seeing snowpack below 50 percent, and in some cases, 25 percent.
This may be a record low snow year, but that isn’t keeping these Alaskans from enjoying what’s here and taking advantage of that man made snow.
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