96.1 FM, 780 AM, Yours for Western Alaska

“Oh, foggy day…”

Planes at Nome's Munz Field under fog, June 2013

Nome residents may have had the old George Gershwin song (“A Foggy Day”) running through their heads early last month, as KNOM’s hometown was shrouded for days in thick fog (not to mention, low-30s temperatures and snow in June!).

In Western Alaska, fog isn’t just a curiosity (or mere fodder for song lyrics); foggy weather can last for days on end and cut off KNOM’s listening communities from access to the outside world. Without a road system, our listeners depend on aircraft to transport food, mail, and people, and when the fog is thick, bush planes – like those in Nome, pictured – can’t fly.

Among those waylaid by the fog was volunteer Dayneé Rosales, whose trip to a whaling festival in the community of Point Hope had to be cancelled in the wake of repeatedly grounded flights. Challenges like these are but a sample of the difficulty of life in rural Alaska. It’s one of the reasons why our mission exists: when transportation is greatly limited, communication (via the radio) becomes even more important.

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This article is part of the July 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.