SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Race of the Season.... iffffy

The first race of the dog mushing season, the Two Rivers Tune-Up, is scheduled for this Saturday, November 27th.

Trail conditions were GREAT last week. This week, however, things have changed dramatically. The snow pack is melting and ice and water are replacing it. It is a sad, sad state for dog mushing enthusiasts. The race has not been canceled yet, but conditions do not look good!

Here at SP Kennel were are constantly checking the National Weather Service website, but all we really need to do is open the door and walk outside. The reality is that slick ice is something that sled dogs can manage and will manage on glare ice ponds or windswept rivers, when the situation warrants. But to ask them to train for hours on icy trails while slipping and sliding, is only going to cause shoulder injuries and foot rubs (from their water drenched dog booties).

Fairbanks has been on national news for the current weather conditions. Here is a snip of an article from our local newspaper ; the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

FAIRBANKS — Meteorologists described Monday’s widespread rainfall as an “extraordinary event,” and it’s not over yet. Almost half an inch of rain had fallen at Fairbanks International Airport by 10 p.m. Monday, and forecasters at the National Weather Service said more than an inch of rain could fall by the time it stops Wednesday.
The official measurement of 0.46 inches at 10 p.m. set the record for the most rain on a day in November, and more was expected before the final official measurement at midnight.
“We haven’t ever seen anything like this in the Interior,” hydrologist Ed Plumb at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said Monday as the rain fell.
The service issued a winter storm warning that remains in effect through 6 p.m. today.(Wednesday)
The rain will compact and melt the snowpack and it is possible that runoff from rain and melting snow will cause ponding on roadways and other poor drainage areas, as well as localized flooding, the service advised in a statement Monday. An extremely warm and moist airmass moving around a large high pressure system over the North Pacific pumped warm, moist air into the Interior and much of the rest of the state early Monday morning, resulting in widespread rain from Anchorage to Barrow, said meteorologist Brad Sipperley.
“It started raining at 5:30 a.m.(Monday) and it’s been raining ever since,” he said just before noon. “We’ve had freezing rain from Anchorage to Barrow.”
Rain during the winter in Fairbanks is unusual, and rainfall of more than one-quarter of an inch between mid-November and early April are extremely rare, according to the weather service. This storm is only the second time in more than 100 years that measurable rainfall was recorded in Fairbanks in the second half of November, according to weather service records. The only other November rainfall on record was Nov. 24, 1936, when 0.42 inches of rain fell.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Ice storm unprecedented in Interior Alaska meteorologists say


Anonymous said...

Your cold air mass is here in the Pacific Northwest! Go figure.

mom in pa said...

Bummer... I think they call it global warming! thanks for all the updates. They have been great. Keep up the good work.

Melinda said...

I got email from Jeff yesterday saying the race has been cancelled

cheetah said...

Hi Aliy. I was just wandering if you train at night so the dogs get used to running in the dark when you are racing?

Keep up the Great Work.


Aliy said...

I would say that this time of year we only have about 6 hours of daylight. Some days we hook up teams directly after morning chores and breakfast is digested (11 AM). But, some days we have other obligations that have us hooking up in the afternoon or evening. So our dogs get plenty of time running by a musher's head light.

Anonymous said...

We have found this very interesting.
We rely on rain to fill our tank and provide us with our water.
And usually at this time of the year, (late Spring over here in New Zealand), we have plenty of rain and plenty of water.
This year however, we have already had to put our usual late summer/February 'water restriction rules' into place. This means, amongst other things, only very quick showers and wearing the same clothes for a very long time -obviously Chloe and Indigo don't find this much of a hardship.
But at least now we know where our rain has got to....it's over in Alaska with you!
Chloe and Indigo and family