R“April Showers bring May flowers?” Not in interior Alaska, where March and April are the driest months of the year with about a third of an inch of precipitation each, that being mostly snow! But April is also the month when most of the winter’s accumulation of snow melts, so we have no shortage of mud and puddles. At the moment, that means I need waders to get the mail.

Mine is the black box at the far end. We've had only .2" of precipitation this month, and that was snow.

Mine is the black box at the far end. We’ve had only .2″ of precipitation this month, and that was snow.

When you come right down to it, interior Alaska is pretty dry. Our annual mean precipitation, between 10 and 11 inches, is less than that of Tucson AZ. Furthermore, less than 7” of that is rain – a lot of our precipitation falls as snow. In fact I live in a semi-arid region with widespread bogs, thanks to permafrost. That low precipitation, even lower when the Bering Sea was dry land, is also the reason Interior Alaska was never glaciated.

The sun rose this morning at 5:53, and will set after 15 hours 55 minutes at 9:48 this evening. Civil twilight (legal to drive without lights, though I never do) will last until 10:51. But even with our long days, the snow is still on the ground where it has not been disturbed. The white ice roads are just beginning to collapse. That will probably change rapidly this week. Although the overnight temperatures are still expected to be around freezing or below, the daytime highs are forecast to be in the fifties. I think I’ll start visiting the greenhouses this week. (Since I also start radiation therapy and Herceptin this week, I hope I’m not being too optimistic.)

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