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2018-19 Snowfall in Nome Has Few Precedents, Climatologists Say

Daytime along a snowy street in rural Alaska

This February was a top month for winter snowfall in Nome’s recent history. According to a report from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) office, more than 35 inches of snow fell in February, the highest February snowfall reported in Nome since 1920.

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information released the report last week as part of its assessment for the U.S. climate as a whole. The report also stated this winter was Nome’s second highest winter snowfall, with a total of almost 70 inches.

Rick Thoman, a climatologist for the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (A-CAP), differs on the numbers but agrees this season was one of the top snowiest in Nome. According to Thoman, through March 7, winter snowfall at the Nome airport reached 94.6 inches. That makes the 2018-2019 winter the third highest seasonal total (as of March 7 exactly).

Thoman says 1931-1932 (97.3 inches) and 1994-1995 (112.1”) were the only winters with more snow in Nome.

Image at top: High snow berms along Bering Street in Nome, Alaska, on Friday, March 15, 2019. Photo: David Dodman; used with permission.