The Prospect of a Cold Guarantee is a Stone Cold Lock
January 23, 2011

Does This Look Like the Coldest Place in the United States?

Alaska Jan. Mean Min Temperatures 1971-2000

On This Date in History:  At this point in the winter season, data from the National Snow Analysis reveals that 49% of the nation is covered in snow.  Last month, that total was 44.8% but, in between, I’ve noted some days where the snow cover was as high as 70%.  We are in a weather pattern that has been persistent with a general ridge in the west and a trof down through the front range of the Rockies or through the midwest.  While there have been some big storms on the West Coast, most of the action seems to be riding up the northern part of the Rockies and then down deep, often way deep, into the South with the base of the mean trof generally in the heart of Dixie.  The mean long wave has been such that it tends to take storms just off the East Coast.  The East Coast has dodged a bullet for the most part because, while there have been a couple of big boppers nail New England, much of the Eastern Seaboard has missed out on several systems that, had they been about 100 miles further west, would have buried the I-95 corridor from North Carolina to Maine.  It’s pretty cold now but a super cold outbreak has for the most part been avoided.  While some records have no doubt been set, certainly no one has come close to all-time low temperatures recorded  in history.

Back in late 1970, there was a big high pressure ridge situated over Hawaii but, by early 1971, that big ridge shifted to the East.  A new mean ridge set up over the Bering Sea and created a strong blocking pattern over the Central Pacific. Northerly flow across the Bering Sea remained persistent but the southern part of the December trof moved east to set up a strong, broad cyclonic circulation across the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic.  All of Alaska was much colder than average that January with Fairbanks, Alaska not getting above 22 F degrees below zero for 18 consecutive days, which is a record for such cold of such duration.  The record-setting cold month in Fairbanks resulted in an average temperature for that month in that city of 31.7 F degrees below zero. 

The Prospect Creek Camp was located down this road at the bottom of the valley

About 200 miles Northwest of Fairbanks and 25 miles Southeast of Bettles, AK, one will find tiny Prospect Creek, Alaska.  It was first settled as a mining camp in the gold rush days.  Most notably, a camp was built there for the builders of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1974.  The near ghost town was transformed into the residence for some 27,000 workers and to serve pipeline station number 5.  There is not much at the location and the camp was little more than housing with some washrooms.  When the pipeline was completed in 1977, Prospect Creek was once again abandoned, though in 1992 it did serve as a base of operations for some people working on the rebuilding of a bridge along the Dalton Highway.  Not only did it serve to house workers but also their families and I’m sure that mom was happy to bring the kids along to live in the wilderness north of the Arctic circle at about 67 degrees North Latitude.  It’s so far north and so cold that it’s really more or less a desert as it only gets between 0 and 10 inches of precipitation per year.  June and July aren’t too bad with average highs of 71 and 73 respectively.  But, January and February average highs are 2 and 10 degree respectively and 6 months out of the year, the average high is below freezing.  In spite of the cold, you can find Black and Brown bears in the area as well as Bald Eagles.  But, you probably won’t find Sarah Palin wandering about as it’s about 530 miles North of the former governor’s home town of Wasilla.

Airstrip at Snag, Yukon Territory Where Lowest North America Temperature was Recorded

Aside from all of this, it’s tough to find much about Prospect Creek and most likely would not be found anywhere on the internet or in encyclopedia’s if it were not what happened there on January 23, 1971.   The big fat ridge that parked itself over the region in January 1971 and brought Fairbanks such frigid conditions affected the entire state.  I suspect that the center of the high pressure ridge must have moved directly over Prospect Creek because, on this date in 1971, the mercury at Prospect Creek, Alaska fell all the way to 79.8F degrees below zero, giving it the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in the United  States.  For all of North America, the low that day is second only to Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada that hit minus 81F degrees on February 3, 1947.  But, Snag’s elevation is 2100 ft while Prospect Creek is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 feet above sea level. 

It's Cold at Amundsen Scott but the Aurora Can Make It Worth the Trouble

 Mt. Washington, NH has the distinction of having the lowest annual mean temperature of 26.5F and the lowest mean summer temperature (51.6F) in the lower 48.  In 1954, a big old 1070mb high settled in over Montana and on January 20, the temperature at Rogers Pass in Lewis and Clark County fell to -69.7F to set the coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states. Rogers Pass sits about 150 feet below the Continental Divide at around 6000 ft in elevation.  It’s interesting that just 11 days before, the lowest temperature on the Greenland Icecap was recorded at -86.6 degrees. That is nothing compared to the all-time planet low temperature of -128.6F on July 21, 1983 at the Amundsen-Scott Station,which is just a few hundred yards from the geographic South Pole in Antarctica.  With all of this, it’s no wonder that Prospect Creek has zero population today.  But, you can mail a letter there, if you like.  The zip code is 99726.  I suppose the postal carrier that gets that mail-route is being punished because “nor rain, nor snow, nor dead of night” does not include “nor 79 degrees below zero.”  By the way, in case you are interested, you can take a tour that includes Prospect Creek.  I might suggest June or July.

Weather Bottom Line:  Well…after reading all of that, you should feel down-right warm.  Maybe not.  We have a hint of a warm up in the week ahead but it’s not much of a hint and it won’t last long.  First, we have a little disturbance wandering across that is damping out, or weakening so we may have some snow showers today and tomorrow.  Then another system comes across the south and an accompanying disturbance coming out of the midwest will also get damped out so we may have some snow showers Tuesday and Wednesday too but I don’t think it will be all that terrific.  We warm up slightly to the mid 30’s by the end of the week and may even hit 40 on Saturday but that’s about it because on Sunday, we’re back down to highs in the 20’s.  Break out the tanning butter on Saturday.

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Without William H. Seward, Sarah Palin May Have Been Unknown to the World
October 18, 2010

Want To See the $7.2 Million Dollar Check For Alaska Purchase?

Want To See the $7.2 Million Dollar Check For Alaska Purchase?

Gov. Palin Owes Career To William H Seward?

Gov. Palin Owes Career To William H Seward?

Governor Palin’s Path is Set: Had it not been for the dogged determination of Secretary of State William H. Seward, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may not have been the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 2008.  It was not an easy task, but, ultimately, Seward got Congress to simply write a big’ol check to the Russians and America had gained the final frontier.

In the 19th Century, Russia laid claim to the Alaskan territory with the establishment of the fur-trading Russian-American Company. The company was quite profitable for awhile but by the 1860’s, business wasn’t too good. In order for the company to remain viable, the Tsar would have to heavily subsidize operations.  But, only a few hundred Russians had emigrated to Alaska and the Russians had no way of defending the vast region. The Tsar and his ministers thought it was in their best interest to sell the land to the Americans rather than lose it in battle to one of the world powers, like Great Britain.

Thanks Bill! Monty Hall Would Be Proud!

Thanks Bill! Monty Hall Would Be Proud!

In 1867. Secretary of State William H. Seward began negotiations to acquire the territory. Now, Seward was a hold-over from the Lincoln administration and was serving under President Andrew Johnson at the time. Johnson became quite unpopular due to his Reconstruction policies and some in the public derisively called the plan “Seward’s Folly”, “Seward’s Ice Box” or “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden.” There were also facticious calls for the opening of the “Polar Bear Bureau” and the establishment of the “Superintendent of Walruses.” At the time, it was seen as a vast, empty wilderness opposed by many public figures such as Horace Greeley. But, some histories now suggest that most of the general public thought it was a shrewd deal. Political opponents in Congress who were trying to figure out how to impeach Johnson delayed approval of the $7.2 million needed to complete the deal.  Perhaps because public opposition wasn’t as great as has been advertised because Congress ratified the deal on April 9, 1867, though it did by just one vote.   The Senate’s approval opened the door for the United States to acquire an area about twice the size of Texas for the purchase price of $7.2 million, or about 2 cents an acre. Funny thing is, Congress didn’t appropriate the money until July 1868.  I’m guessing that, while the Senate is charged with approving treaties, the House of Representatives has a say in the approval of funding and I suspect that opponents in the House hoped to halt the purchase by keeping the purse strings tight.  If you notice the check above is dated August 1868 so there must have been some politicking and horse trading. Guess the Tsar didn’t care too much about the slow payment but I suppose any Americans  who were in Alaska before the check cleared could have been considered considered to be squatters. 

Bill Had a Great Catch for the US

Bill Had a Great Catch for the US

In any event, the deal got done and the public remained generally non-plussed about the whole thing until gold was discovered in 1896 the territory’s Klondike region and suddenly the acquisition wasn’t such a folly after all. As time went on, the deal became to be on par with buying Manhattan for $24.  Today, 20% of America’s oil is found in Alaska and about half of the seafood. It also produces a huge amount of natural gas, timber and other natural resources.   Pokiness seems to be part of Alaska’s history because, after Congress delayed cutting the check, it took until 1912 to establish the Alaska Territory.  And statehood wasn’t exactly around the corner from there.

Johnson's Polar Bear Swimming Pool?

Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Swimming Pool?

Today, it has produced “Sarah Barracuda”, the first female Republican nominee for Vice-President. Alaska became a state in 1959 which seems kinda odd when one considers that California gained statehood very shortly after it’s gold rush broke out.  Alaska is too big for just one day of recognition so there are two state holidays marking its heritage. One is “Seward’s Day” which is in March every year to mark the day that William Seward signed the treaty (Mar 30, 1867) and the other is “Alaska Day,” which commemorates this date in History when on October 18, 1867, the United States formally took possession of the 586, 412 square miles of Alaska. If this Global Warming caper goes the way that Mr. Gore suggests, then “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden” will have to find a new name…perhaps “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Swimming Pool” would be more appropriate.

Weather Bottom Line:   We need rain.  Count yourself lucky if you get it this week. Officially, Louisville has gotten .56 inches of rain since Sept 1.  Now, climatologically, Sept and Oct are the driest month in Louisville but his is a bit out of hand.  A boundary snuck through yesterday but its not too far to the south.  The previous thinking was that a wave of energy would run along that front and bring us some light rain on Tuesday.  But, the front appears to be inching farther south so when the wave goes by, the rain will be mainly in Tennessee.  That’s okay because they could use it too but…anyway, maybe a slight shot on Monday night or Tuesday but probably only if you do a rain dance in your backyard.  Cooler air filters in beginning Tuesday and we will at least be pleasant with highs in the upper 60’s Tuesday and lower 70’s the rest of the week.

Turn Out the Lights, Turn Up the Heat and Viva Alaska!
October 18, 2008

In the 30's On Saturday Night

In the 30s on Saturday Night

Hope Your Heater Works: As expected we had a much cooler day than we’ve seen in quite some time. An upper low will work its way through overnight bringing some light showers and clouds but the showers will probably not be that signficant and will end shortly after sunrise. The clouds won’t stick around long thereafter and the sun will be dominant by Saturday afternoon but area highs won’t get out of the low 60’s. Saturday night, the mercury will fall to the 30’s area wide with some places in the low 30’s. Hope your heaters work and be careful if you haven’t used yours yet this year. Check it out prior to use. Then get ready for your bill. I had figured that my gas rate had increased by 39%. LG & E corrected me. They claim its 65%!! Apparently I missed an interim increase. Natural gas prices have fallen quite a bit since they adjusted the rates in July. Hopefully when they readjust in November, they will come back down because I don’t want to have heating bills this winter like I had a few years ago…nor do you.

Tropical Storm Omar Satellite Image 1018 0245Z

Tropical Storm Omar Satellite Image 1018 0245Z

Tropical Storm Omar Forecast Track 1017 11pm

Tropical Storm Omar Forecast Track 1017 11pm

Tropical Storm Omar is useless but if you want to read about it, check out below. But, at least you can find it now on the satellite imagery and is certainly much better looking that it was. It is moving over much colder water and as it continues northeast it will run into frontal zones. In short, Omar’s days are numbered. I think its still going to be interesting to see if it eventually affects Europe in whatever shape or form it is in. Remember, the role of tropical cyclones in nature is to transport heat and moisture from the tropical regions to the polar regions. They are not trying to melt the polar ice caps, they are just doing what they are supposed to do and this year, in the Atlantic Basin, they have done a very good job with several storms making it into the northern latitudes.

Want To See the $7.2 Million Dollar Check For Alaska Purchase?

Want To See the $7.2 Million Dollar Check For Alaska Purchase?

Gov. Palin Owes Career To William H Seward?

Gov. Palin Owes Career To William H Seward?

Governor Palin’s Path is Set: Had it not been for the dogged determination of Secretary of State William H. Seward, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may be be the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Republican Party.

In the 19th Century, Russia laid claim to the Alaskan territory with the establishment of the fur-trading Russian-American Company. The company was quite profitable for awhile but by the 1860’s, business wasn’t too good. In order for the company to remain viable, the Tsar would have to heavily subsidize operations. Only a few hundred Russians had emigrated to Alaska and the Russians had no way of defending the vast region. The Tsar and his ministers thought it was in their best interest to sell the land to the Americans rather than lose it in battle to one of the world powers, like Great Britain.

Thanks Bill! Monty Hall Would Be Proud!

Thanks Bill! Monty Hall Would Be Proud!

In 1867. Secretary of State William Seward began negotiations to acquire the territory. Now, Seward was a hold-over from the Lincoln administration and was serving under President Andrew Johnson at the time. Johnson became quite unpopular due to his Reconstruction policies and some in the public derisively called the plan “Seward’s Folly”, “Seward’s Ice Box” or “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden.” There were also facticious calls for the opening of the “Polar Bear Bureau” and the establishment of the “Superintendent of Walruses.” At the time, it was seen as a vast, empty wilderness. But, some histories now suggest that most of the general public thought it was a shrewd deal. Political opponents in Congress who were trying to figure out how to impeach Johnson delayed approval of the $7.2 million needed to complete the deal. But, perhaps because public opposition wasn’t as great as has been advertised, Congress ratified the deal on April 9, 1867 to acquire an area about twice the size of Texas being purchased for $7.2 million, or about 2 cents an acre. Funny thing is, Congress didn’t appropriate the money until July 1868. If you notice the Check above is dated August 1868. Guess the Tsar didn’t care too much about the slow payment but I suppose any Americans in Alaska before the check cleared could be considered to be squatters. Anyway, the public

Bill Had a Great Catch for the US

Bill Had a Great Catch for the US

remained generally non-plussed about the deal until gold was discovered in 1896 and suddenly the acquisition wasn’t such a folly after all. As time went on, the deal became to be on par with buying Manhattan for $24.

Today, 25% of America’s oil comes from Alaska and about half of the seafood. It also produces a huge amount of natural gas, timber and other natural resources. Today, it has produced “Sarah Barracuda”, the first female Republican nominee for Vice-President. Alaska became a state in 1959 and there are two state

Johnson's Polar Bear Swimming Pool?

Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Swimming Pool?

holidays marking its heritage. One is “Seward’s Day” which is in March every year to mark the day that William Seward signed the treaty (Mar 30, 1867) and the other is on October 18, which commemorates This date in History when on October 18, 1867, the United States formally took possession of the 586, 412 square miles of Alaska. If this Global Warming caper goes the way that Mr. Gore suggests, then “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden” will have to find a new name…perhaps “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Swimming Pool” would be more appropriate.

A True American Genius

A No Doubt About It Genius

Turn Out the Lights For Edison

Turn Out the Lights For Edison

Turn out the Lights: On this date in 1931, perhaps the greatest single inventor in the history of the world died. Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey at the age of 84. Upon his death, President Hoover asked all americans to turn out the lights for one minute. He had considered having all power plants across the nation be shut down but his advisors reminded him that electricity had become such a part of the American fabric that doing so would place many people at extreme risk. So, Hoover took the Republican approach of asking for a volunteer effort. Too bad he didn’t take a Republican view of taxes as, in the wake of the stock market crash, Hoover raised taxes and most economic historians point to his raising of taxes and tariffs that led to the Great Depression, not the stock market crash….anyway….

Thomas Edison’s 1093 US patents is a record that will probably never be even remotely challenged. There are a couple of links of Edison to Louisville. For a brief period of time when he was young, Edison lived in a small house in Louisville near Butchertown. (you can visit the home) One of his most famous inventions was the first practical incandescent light

Benefactor to the World

Benefactor to the World

bulb in 1879. In 1883, the Southern Exposition opened in Louisville with a display of 20,000 incandescent lights making it the largest display in this history of the world at that time. The number of lights in Louisville at that time was more than the entire city of New York. Please take the time to READ THIS EDISON BIOGRAPHY as it does a far better justice than I could do to bring to the attention one of the most influential people in the history of the United States, and even the world, not just in the 19th and 20th century and far beyond. While it was not patented, Edison actually invented the modern method of invention…a footnote that is often lost in most history lessons.

TROPICAL STORM OMAR DISCUSSION NUMBER 19

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL152008

1100 PM EDT FRI OCT 17 2008

THE CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH OMAR HAS DECREASED AGAIN THIS EVENING…WITH THE REMAINING CONVECTION IN A RAGGED BAND WELL SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER. HOWEVER…AN AMSU OVERPASS NEAR 20Z SHOWS THAT THE CYCLONE HAS A DEEP-LAYER WARM CORE…WHICH SSM/I IMAGERY SHOWS IS SURROUNDED BY MID/UPPER-LEVEL DRY/COOL AIR. A QUIKSCAT OVERPASS NEAR 22Z SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN THE WINDS FROM THE EARLIER OVERPASS…WITH NO RELIABLE-LOOKING VECTORS SHOWING WINDS OF MORE THAN 45 TO 50 KT. AMSU INTENSITY ESTIMATES AT 20Z WERE 55 TO 60 KT…WHILE REGULAR SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES WERE TROPICAL 65 KT FROM TAFB AND SUBTROPICAL 35-40 KT FROM SAB. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS DECREASED TO 55 KT BASED ON AN AVERAGE OF THESE ESTIMATES…AND THIS MIGHT BE A BIT GENEROUS. THE INITIAL WIND RADII HAVE BEEN REVISED BASED ON THE QUIKSCAT DATA. OMAR HAS SLOWED ITS FORWARD MOTION DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS AND THE INITIAL MOTION IS NOW 040/14. IN THE SHORT TERM…OMAR SHOULD CONTINUE A GENERAL NORTHEASTWARD MOTION BETWEEN A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE OVER THE EAST CENTRAL ATLANTIC AND THE MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES TO THE NORTH. THE FIRST 48 HR OF THE FORECAST IS DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAIRLY TIGHTLY CLUSTERED GUIDANCE. AFTER 48 HR…THE GFS… ECMWF…UKMET..AND HWRF SHOW OMAR BEING ABSORBED INTO A BAROCLINIC LOW MOVING EASTWARD FROM THE WESTERN ATLANTIC…THIS AFTER OMAR TURNS MORE NORTHWARD IN ADVANCE OF THE LOW. THE NOGAPS…THE BAMD…THE BAMM…AND THE LBAR FORECAST OMAR TO TURN EASTWARD AND EVENTUALLY SOUTHWARD AROUND THE EASTERN ATLANTIC RIDGE. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK WILL LEAN MORE TOWARD THE GFS/UKMET/ECMWF/HWRF SOLUTION…CALLING FOR OMAR TO TURN MORE NORTHWARD AFTER 72 HR. HOWEVER…OUT OF DEFERENCE TO THE OTHER MODELS AND THE PREVIOUS FORECAST…THE NEW FORECAST IS NOT AS FAR NORTH AS THAT OF THOSE MODELS. OMAR IS MOVING OVER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF LESS THAN 26C…AND IS LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER INCREASING WESTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AFTER 24 HR. WHILE ANOTHER CONVECTIVE FLARE-UP CANNOT BE RULED OUT…THESE CONDITIONS INDICATE THE STORM SHOULD GENERALLY WEAKEN THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS IS SUPPORTED BY ALL THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE. OMAR SHOULD BECOME EXTRATROPICAL IN 48-72 HR AS IT MERGES WITH A FRONTAL SYSTEM OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC. IF THE GFS/UKMET/ECMWF/HWRF SCENARIO VERIFIES…OMAR WILL BE ABSORBED BY THE WARM FRONT OF THE ONCOMING BAROCLINIC LOW…WITH THE FORMER TROPICAL CYCLONE SHOWING LITTLE RE-INTENSIFICATION AS AN EXTRATROPICAL LOW. THIS IS REFLECTED IN THE 48-96 HR PORTION OF THE INTENSITY FORECAST.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 18/0300Z 31.5N 52.8W 55 KT

12HR VT 18/1200Z 33.3N 51.1W 50 KT

24HR VT 19/0000Z 35.1N 48.7W 45 KT

36HR VT 19/1200Z 36.7N 46.2W 40 KT

48HR VT 20/0000Z 38.3N 43.2W 35 KT…BECOMING EXTRATROPICAL

72HR VT 21/0000Z 39.5N 39.0W 35 KT…EXTRATROPICAL

96HR VT 22/0000Z 42.0N 36.0W 35 KT…EXTRATROPICAL

120HR VT 23/0000Z…ABSORBED BY FRONTAL SYSTEM

$$ FORECASTER BEVEN

Strong Storms Possible; Congress Does The Impossible-Something Right
April 10, 2008

Alright….we’re on the doorstep of the event that has been trumpeted by commercial meteorological outlets (tv types) and we do indeed have activity getting going.  One tornado yesterday apparently fell into the Bob Symon Big Bopper category as reports had it around a half mile wide.  Don’t expect anything like that around here.

Bottom line is what I told you yesterday generally stands.  Warm and windy Thursday….strong storms with mainly a wind and hail threat overnight.  Perhaps some storms in a thin line for Friday afternoon.  Cloudy,  chilly and dreary Thunder.

So, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.  If you want more detail than what I give  here, go to yesterday’s chat.  If you really want an extreme detailed, meteorologically based explanation, check Jay’s blog…its better than any local guy.  If you don’t understand what he’s talking about ask him or feel free to ask me.  As for here, we’ll continue to remain rather simple and tell you that the best threat for big bopper twisters will be in Arkansas and Missouri.  That’s where they have terrific wind energy.  Overnight, that stuff will translate our way.  One  thing different on the maps is that the boys at the SPC shifted the moderate risk east a tad so that it includes the western tip of Kentucky and Western Tennessee.  The reason for this is that the good dynamics shift farther east by late afternoon…during the heat of the day.  Now, when all that progresses our way overnight, we will have a good low level jet (wind howling from the south at 5000 feet) that would feed the storms.  That would tend to keep storms going as they move into our environment.  We may get strong winds and hail.  Tornado not out of the question but not huge probability.  I might be concerned about a storm collapsing and having strong winds as it does.  But, we’ll wait and see.

Anyway, try clicking on the pictures if they can’t be seen clearly or they are too small.  From top to bottom they are the general threat area for today,  chance for tornadic activity, chance for damaging winds, chance for hail and general threat for tomorrow.

Note that tomorrow we are just west of the slight risk.  Storms will probably generate in a thin line along the front in the afternoon but they may not get going good until they move to our east.

On This Date In History:  On this date in 1867, Secretary of State William Seward basked while his detractors fumed.  The day before,  Congress showed a nose for looking to the future instead of votes for the day as it approved what was known as “Seward’s Folly”.  That’s what they called his negotiated purchase of the Alaskan Terrirtory from Russia for $7 million.  That was less than half of what Thomas Jefferson paid for Louisiana.   Alaska became the 49th state in the 1950’s and has been proved to be anything but a folly.  It has provided billions of barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of natural gas.  It is a strategic location for national defense, has great commercial fishing and has a vast frontier like wilderness.

The only folly was the pinhead shortsightedness of the members of Congress who opposed  the purchase.  So…when you get upset at elected officials who seemed more concerned about the next election rather than the future of the nation…when its easier to just go along with public sentament than to struggle to educate the electorate to support what is in the long term best interests of the country, our children and grandchildren…don’t feel too bad…Congress has been that way for a long time and we’ve managed to survive.

But, the man who inexplicably adorns the top of this section did not.  See, it’s Johnny Horton who was a rising rockabilly star in the 1950’s.  He was influenced by Elvis and Hank Williams.  Horton’s connection to Alaska is that he had a hit song called North to Alaska.  Who can forget it?  His connection to Hank Williams was even more interesting or even eerie.   See, Williams had been married to the former Billie Jean Jones.  Williams was killed in a car accident at the age of 29 after performing in Austin, Texas at the Skyline Club.  A few months later, Billie Jean married Johnny Horton.  For the second time, Billie Jean became a widow as Johnny was killed at the age of 31 at the hands of a drunk driver after performing in Austin, Texas at the Skyline Club. 

Maybe Johnny wouldn’t have gotten famous and would have never performed at the Skyline Club or not married Billie Jean had William Seward not purchased Alaska because then there would not have been a hit record for Johnny about Alaska.  Maybe the purchase of Alaska was good for America but not good for Johnny Horton.  I do wonder if Billie Jean married again and, if so, what was the third husband’s fate?  I bet he never went to the Skyline Club in Austin, Tx.

******************

Stay tuned to Newschannell 32 for updates throughout the day and especially overnight.  I’ll be there with Jay or Matt and you know we will certainly stay on top of it for you and give you any changes.  But I don’t see much of anything that would be problematic or mess up the going forecast.