While Nome has experienced a relatively warm winter this year – with widespread melting and relatively little snow to speak of – winter in our region is, as you might expect, often the opposite.
Here are two examples.
In 2011, only three years ago, our snow cover – and our exposure to heavy winter storms – was abundant. As we wrote in our March 2011 newsletter, a series of blizzards, strong winds (with wind chills down to -70° F!), and heavy snowfall had battered our region, leaving general manager Ric Schmidt to help clear waist-high snow from the side of KNOM’s facilities (pictured). On one particularly stormy day, Ric and then-volunteer Matthew Smith faced 50-miles-per-hour winds to venture out to our AM transmitter site, a few miles outside Nome, to reactivate a failed heating unit, thus keeping our AM signal on the air.
High snow was the story, also, in our January 2004 Static, which reported snow drifts “as high as second-story windows” and showed a photo (above) of Florence Busch – then business manager, now a member of KNOM’s board of directors – examining a 7-foot drift near her house.
In May 2004, in the last throes of that year’s winter, Nome residents observed an ivu (EE-voo), an unusual buildup of massive chunks of ocean ice, some as large as pickup trucks, at the nearby seacoast. The fractured ice blocks, as seen in the photo below, created a 30-foot-high wall of ice.