“Icemageddon”: in Alaska, after the heat record, a deluge of ice

RWith heat, snowstorms, torrential rains and a deluge of ice, Alaska is experiencing extreme weather this week that is wreaking havoc in cities across the northernmost state in the United States. Large patches of ice are blocking roads and making traffic impossible in Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city, the state’s transportation department said. “We are facing a series of unprecedented winter storms. All available staff are working hard, but we may not be able to clear everything before this weekend, “authorities said on Twitter, warning of an apocalyptic situation with the ice, a “Icemageddon”.

Hours after the state set a record high temperature for December of 19.4 degrees Celsius on Kodiak Island in southern Alaska, torrents of rain poured into the interior, never before – seen at this time of year since 1937, before another drop in mercury, causing massive ice formation.

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“Exactly what is expected from global warming”

“More than half of the population of Fairbanks was left without electricity during the storm,” said Agence France-Presse Rick Thoman, climate specialist at the University of Alaska. “This type of event, high humidity and very hot air, is exactly what is expected from global warming”, explains the expert. In the American West, Washington State and California are also facing heavy snowfall and rains that have caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights, the blocking of roads and population evacuations in the face of the risk of floods.

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