Name given to cause of AK flooding: Jokulhlaups

Arizona has its haboobs to worry about. Juneau has its jokulhlaups (YOKE'-uh-lips).

The latter is a term given to a glacier outburst of water, such as what caused some flooding in Alaska's capital on Thursday.

Joel Curtis with the National Weather Service's Juneau office tells KINY radio that jokulhlaups is an Icelandic term, and refers to glacier releases common in Alaska.

Lakes can form under, on top of or around glaciers, with the water being dammed by glacier ice or debris. Flooding occurs when that water, somehow, is let loose, as it was Thursday. A flood warning was issued for most of the day for Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River.

Jokulhlaups are much wetter than haboobs, or giant walls of dust. Phoenix has twice seen haboobs roll through this year.


Information from: KINY-AM,