ANCHORAGE -- Perhaps instead of "Big Wild Life," Anchorage should consider the motto "Really Really Cold." The city has seen unseasonably frosty temperatures for an unusually long period, according to the National Weather Service.

It started around Feb. 18: The average low was 12 degrees, with 26 degrees the normal high. But Anchorage peaked at 25 degrees and dipped down to 8 degrees. Compared to what was to come, that was balmy. In the days between Feb. 18 and March 13, Anchorage saw an average daily temperature of just 9.2 degrees -- 12.2 degrees below the 55-year average for the time.

That 9.2 degree average is tied with 1971 as the second-coldest on record for that time span. In 1956, daily temperatures averaged 7.2 degrees for the period.

By March 10 of a typical year, daily highs are hitting 32 degrees. Clearly that hasn't happened, said David Vonderheide, a spokesman with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Anchorage. The cold is a result of high pressure to the north and low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska to the south that's trapping Anchorage in the chilly middle.

If it lasts, this could be the coldest March on record, Vonderheide said. It should get at least a little warmer in the days to come, with more clouds and less wind, he said. But don't expect a big snowstorm like the St. Patrick's Day blow-out of 2002, when the region got 28.7 inches on March 17.

"There are no big storms coming," Vonderheide said.