ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Even by Alaska standards, this winter is unusual for the hardy residents of the state's largest city.
Near-record snowfall buried Anchorage neighborhoods, turning streets into canyons with walls of snow on each side. The snow's weight collapsed the roofs of some buildings. Moose are fleeing into the city to get away from too-deep snow.
And the city dumps are close to overflowing with snow that may not melt entirely before next winter....Alaska had its coldest January on record.
Two different weather phenomenon - La Nina and its northern cousin the Arctic Oscillation - are mostly to blame, meteorologists say. Global warming could also be a factor because it is supposed to increase weather extremes, climate scientists say.
"When you start to see the extreme events become more common, that's when you can say that it is a consequence of global warming," University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said....AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.