Freak Winter Warmth in the Arctic and Russia

Notwithstanding the snow on the first day of spring in the Northeast, we have had the warmest winter on record.  In particular Alaska and parts of Russia skipped winter:

Parts of Russia, eastern Europe and Alaska saw temperatures that were more than 5 degrees Celsius, or about 9 degrees Fahrenheit, above the 1981-2010 average, NOAA found. This was "beyond the upper bounds" of NOAA's temperature anomalies map, meaning that the agency ran out of colors to communicate the freak warmth.
Ordinarily the Iditarod sled dog race begins in Anchorage, but this year 350 dumb truck loads of snow were brought in for the ceremonial beginning and the beginning of the race was moved 70 miles further north to Willow.  Probably not the last year this will happen.  In fact more likely they will have to move it further north as time goes on.

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