Two storms of exceptional strength ripped through KNOM country at the end of 2016. They’re the latest reason why KNOM’s weather forecasts are so important — and why our mission is partnering in a new way with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Despite ice pack in Alaskan coastal waters being well behind average during November and December, recent weather has brought the sea ice edge to near-normal levels.
The blizzard currently battering western Alaska is but the first of two storm systems to affect the region this weekend, the National Weather Service says. The second is projected to arrive New Year’s Eve.
Along with 6-12 inches of new snow, severe winds, and whiteout conditions, a blizzard coming to Western Alaska may “mobilize” chunks of Bering Sea ice and lead to coastal flooding.
Last year’s winter was warmer than usual in western Alaska. This year, above normal snowfall may be headed our way.
The low-pressure storm system southwest of Saint Lawrence Island is not unusual for this time of year, but it is hitting Nome the hardest.
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission covered a range of topics — from fire forecasts to walrus tagging to the nutritional value of reindeer meat.
The storm is causing sea levels to rise, and affected areas should expect some beach erosion.
As of Friday, backup phone lines and power systems were in use, but internet connections and other instruments at the Weather Service and FAA were not fully operational.
To open more science positions in Anchorage and Fairbanks, the National Weather Service plans to cut the evening shift and reduce staff in the Nome, Barrow, and Kodiak offices.