‘Pineapple Express’ Brings a Little Bit of Hawaii to Alaska
Typically by February, Alaskans are hoping for a reprieve from winter’s cold and snow. But this year, they’re experiencing a heat wave.
Unseasonably warm weather has blanketed the state all week, marking a spike in a winter of above-average temperatures. Patches of brown grass poke through thinning snowdrifts and trees are bare of snow.
“We call it the Pineapple Express,” said John Stepetin, in the National Weather Service’s Anchorage office. “It’s a pretty big low-pressure system bringing up all the warm air from Hawaii and it’s going all the way up past Fairbanks.”
The service’s Web site said Anchorage temperatures have been above 30 degrees for nine consecutive days and rose above the city’s average high on 26 of the last 28 days. This week, temperatures inched into the 40s in southern areas of the state and the 30s farther north.
The warm weather has caused highway closings, avalanche warnings and power outages.