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A Glimpse of Alaska in Early March

For many people, the mental image they get of Alaska, especially in early March, is a vast snow-covered wasteland. Alaska does get a lot of snow and it is often cold in March, however, a lot of it isn’t at all what people imagine. Alaska is a beautiful state and it has a lot more to see than just wasteland.

The following are a few webcam pictures from various places in Alaska in early March. 

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, quite a bit north of Juneau. To many people, particularly in the northeast US, it would barely count as a big town, much less a city. Much of Anchorage was destroyed during the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964, but it is hard to tell today. They do get snow here, but the amount of snow they have on the ground in March is less than in many places in Montana, judging from this image.

Juneau, Alaska

The recognized state capitol, Juneau, does show that it gets snow. However, it is also in the southern coastal area of the state and the airflow off of the Pacific prevents it from being as cold and snowy as many areas in the state. As can be seen here, there are also a lot of trees and other plants. 

Kodiak, Alaska to the southwest

This southwest view over Kodiak, Alaska shows a substantial difference in terrain. Kodiak Island isn't large, but it is clearly affected by the waters of the Pacific that flows around it. Notice the lack of snow, except for on the mountains in distance.

Kodiak to the northwest

This is a more stunning picture of Kodiak, facing the Northwest. The mountains in the background are beautiful and the foreground shows grass and scrub timber. The lack of snow is also obvious in this image. In case you wondered, Kodiak is primarily a fishing town. That is its main industry.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan is another fishing town, nestled at the base of the mountains and against the ocean. Very little snow can be seen here, either. However, this area is heavily forested.

Wrangell, Alaska

This view to the east of Wrangell, Alaska shows some of the fantastic beauty. This gives an inkling of what can be seen in the largest national park in the US; Wrangell-Elias National Park. The low storm clouds lend an almost surrealistic feeling and mountains in the distance are nearly hidden by the clouds. Notice not only the small snowfall amount but also how heavily forested the area is.

Mount McKinley

There is more snow on Mount McKinley and the area around it, but that isn't surprising since it is north and inland. That isn't even counting the fact that this is the tallest mountain in North America. The summit of the mountain is hidden in clouds, but those clouds also show some amazing colors.

Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks shows a lot more snow than the previous images. It is also closer to the idea most people have of the barren tundra when they think of Alaska. However, even this isn't barren. Most of the trees in the distance are alpine trees; reduced in height, but still numerous.

Although there are places in Alaska that look more barren and snow covered, the state is huge and it is a great deal more than just frozen tundra and permafrost. These are only a few places in Alaska, but this should be enough to dispell that image of the state. Consider that Alaska is a little more than half the size of the lower 48 states combined and you might get a notion of just how enormous the state is. It is beautiful, too.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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