Mild weather and rain melted much of the snow in south-central Alaska (Photo: Getty Images)

A ridge of high pressure over western North America is allowing warm air from the subtropics to flow all the way up to Alaska, bringing with it unprecedented heat to places like Fairbanks, which has seen temperatures as high as 6°C. Normally, the daytime high is around -17°C.

The antics of the jet stream, a major weather engine across the US, have been the culprit behind the much talked-about 'polar vortex', which has sent Arctic weather as far south as the US Gulf Coast and given Texans a chance to play in the snow.

While weather stations in the Lower 48 have broken or tied more than 2,600 records for cold this winter so far, Alaska has broken or tied more than 20 daily temperature records for warmth.

Too warm to sled

Warm weather has shut down ski slopes and caused some road problems. It is also jeopardising a centrepiece of Alaskan culture and commerce.

A qualifying race for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the annual long-distance sledge dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, has been canceled due to the warm weather. It was the second mid-distance Iditarod qualifier to be called off this winter.

Mild weather and rain melted much of the snow in south-central Alaska. And as temperatures rose to 6°C in Anchorage on Friday, race organisers called off the event.

Source: ArcticJournal

Additionally, click here to read about Alaska's disappearing permafrost as consequence of warmer temperatures.