Goodbye Winter: February Heat Shatters Records as Alaska Forced to Ship in Snow for Iditarod

As record-shattering temperatures in February essentially nullified winter for much of the world, Alaska is being forced to haul in tons of snow this week to accommodate the state’s famous Iditarod dogsled race.

The 1,000-mile Iditarod has its ceremonial start on March 5 in Anchorage, where temperatures have been in the 40s all week, an Anchorage resident and Alaska Railroad spokesperson told Business Insider. The website reports that the city is hauling in 300 cubic yards of snow via rail from the northern city of Fairbanks.

Officials were already forced to move the race north last winter when sections of the original trail were left entirely bare of snow.

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Meanwhile, record-breaking heat wreaked havoc around the world in February. “For many parts of the planet, there basically wasn’t a winter,” meteorologist and Slate staff writer Eric Holthaus observed.

The Weather Channel this week reported record monthly highs in cities throughout the United States, while Weather Underground observed that unusually hot temperatures are to blame for tumultuous weather in Europe and Asia, as well. As Common Dreams reported, the island nation of Fiji was pummeled by a record-setting cyclone in late February.