Snowplow businesses switched to their summertime jobs, such as roofing and pipe-thawing. "What weather? There is no weather," said Dave Bates, owner of Alpine Roofing and Property Maintenance, who usually gets 50 calls a week to plow snow and this year has had two.

Snowmobile sales are way off, said Chuck Jones, a salesman at Marita Sea & Ski. "It's hard to get the public excited about buying machines when there's no place to drive," he said.

Kincaid Park, normally blanketed with snow and buzzing with cross-country skiers, was deserted yesterday. The only signs of life were Chad Hesson, 30, and his fiancee, Chanda Dorn, 26, checking out locations for their June wedding.

They complained that they usually skate two or three times a week in the winter but can't this year because the ice has been too thin and even the rinks are spotted with puddles.

Ricky Prince, a groomer with the Nordic Ski Club, was using a front-end loader to lay a cross-country trail on a bare track for a coming race.

"You didn't bring any snow, did you?" he asked a visitor from the East.

"People are in grief," said Doug O'Harra, a reporter at the Anchorage Daily News. "Nobody remembers ever looking out the window in February and seeing green grass. The fact that there's no snow and it's warm is just mind-boggling."

To be fair, there are people here who welcome the break - though they're careful not to say it too loudly.

Ice climber Jon Cobb, 27, said although he has to drive two hours to find the ice this year, that area, which is normally cold and miserable, is now lots of fun: "Instead of my pick ricocheting off the ice and breaking, there's lots of 'hero ice,' ice that can make anyone look like a hero."

But most Alaskans are like Joyce Yerkes, who lives with her husband in a cabin on Shell Lake, about 90 miles from here. "We're used to dealing with the snow," she said. "We don't shovel snow so much as we just pack it down and move on top of it."

They sought to commiserate with the snowbound East.

"When I heard about [the Eastern storm] I thought, 'I hope they enjoy it,'" said Joyce Barnett, 52, a physical therapist. "I hope it distracts them from the national political issues. We don't worry so much about that here, the terrorism. We're so removed. But we do worry about the snow."