Mountains in Denali, Alaska, September 17, 2019 JOE RAEDLE
Record heat, snowstorms, torrential rains and a deluge of ice, this week Alaska is experiencing extreme weather conditions that are wreaking havoc in several cities across the northernmost state of the United States.
Large patches of ice are blocking roads and making traffic impossible in Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city, the state transportation department said.
“We are facing a series of unprecedented winter storms. All available staff are working very hard but we may not be able to clear everything before this weekend,” authorities said on Twitter, warning of an apocalyptic situation with ice, an “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.
“More than half of the population of Fairbanks was left without electricity during the storm,” Rick Thoman, climate specialist at the University of Alaska, told AFP.
“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.