In Alaska, "bad weather" doesn't always mean the same as it does in the Lower-48. Snow storms never cause school or workplace closures or become much more than an inconvenience. Let a little rain fall, however, and things go to hell in a handbasket.
That is the case today. Last night the temperature warmed, the rain started falling, and we now have a sheet of wet ice covering everything. Most importantly, it's covering the roads.
An update from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner just minutes ago includes the following:
"A five-car pileup is blocking the Richardson on-ramp to the Mitchell Expressway. A bus was blocking the Steese Highway at Farmers Loop just after 9 a.m.
I made it about half-way to town this morning, and was stopped by a school bus spun out on a hill. At that point I decided discretion was truly the better part of valor, so I turned around. Once back at the house, which was no easy feat, I installed my tire chains on my dog truck. With the combination of chains and studded snow tires I could probably get to work tomorrow OK, if I must. At this point it is as likely that the company will delay crew change by a day, perhaps line wide.
The UAF campus is closed, the schools are asking parents to pick up students early and have announced they will be closed tomorrow, and at least 5 school buses, some with kids on board, have slid off area roads.
In short, the weather today is TOO STINKIN' WARM and the roads are just freakin' UGLY!. I think I'll brew a pot of coffee and hang out with the dogs for a while.