Kodiak’s annual community cleanup day has been postponed one week after island residents woke up to a snowy surprise Saturday morning.
Eight tenths of an inch of snow were recorded at Kodiak State Airport between midnight Saturday morning and 8 a.m., one hour before cleanup day was scheduled to kick off at Kodiak High School.
Saturday’s snow was unexpected but not abnormal for Kodiak, which sees two tenths of an inch in an average May. Saturday’s accumulation wasn’t even a record — 1.3 inches of snow fell on May 4, 1949.
Saturday’s snowfall was instead a brief wonder and temporary inconvenience. While the cleanup was postponed until May 11, the hazardous waste pickup — paint, batteries and chemicals — went on as scheduled. The outside provider of those disposal services couldn’t pivot as fast as the rest of the cleanup campaign.
As the day warmed, the snow melted and by 1 p.m. was no obstacle for runners at Baranof Park or Fort Abercrombie. A track meet and zombie run went off without a hitch at each location.
The most significant lasting effect of Saturday’s snow may be as a memory of one of Kodiak’s coldest springs in recent memory.
According to the National Weather Service, April 2013 was the fifth-coldest April since 1940 in Kodiak. Temperatures in Kodiak averaged 33.8 degrees through the just-ended month. That’s cool, but still warmer than Fairbanks’ average 18 degrees — its coldest April since 1940.
The cold temperatures caused the Alaska State Troopers to extend the studded tire deadline to May 15; for another two weeks, you can keep studded tires on your car without a citation.
Saturday’s likely was the last of the season for Kodiak. Through Saturday, the weather service expects sea-level temperatures to remain above freezing. Through Wednesday, those warm temperatures will be accompanied by plenty of sunlight.
In the second half of the week, the forecast calls for a chance of rain — and some snow, at higher elevations.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.