Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Epic Storm Bearing Down on Alaska

Hurricane-force Winds 
Heavy Snowfall 
Coastal Flooding & Severe Erosion

NOAA is predicting a major Bering Sea Storm bearing down on Western Alaska with a mix of strong winds, high seas, blizzard conditions and major coastal flooding. Warnings and forecasts for Western and Northwest Alaska can be found here. Warnings and forecasts for the Aleutian & Pribilof Islands here and Southwest Alaska can be found here. An additional resource for total water level estimations for some western Alaska communities can be found here. (11/08/11)

  ...Life-Threatening Epic Storm Continues to Impact Western Alaska Coast This Morning...
Published (NWS): Wed, 09 Nov 2011 08:16:35 EST

A powerful and extremely dangerous storm of near-record magnitude is now impacting western Alaska. Impacts will spread northwest and continue through Thursday in some communities. Coastal Flood and Blizzard Warnings are in effect for most of the Alaska’s west and northwest coasts. At 3:00 a.m. EST (11:00 p.m. AKST) the center of the low pressure system was located about 100 miles west of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, with a minimum central pressure of 943 mb (27.85 inches). This is one of the deepest systems in recent history to move through the Bering Sea. The storm is expected to move north-northeast this morning, as conditions worsen, creating a life-threatening situation for a large portion of the western Alaska coast today, especially in the Seward Peninsula near Nome, which is getting hit hard by blizzard conditions and 70 mph winds, along with 8 foot coastal storm surge.

Lack of Sea Ice Problematic

Arctic sea ice this year reached the second-lowest coverage since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. While powerful storms in the North Pacific and Bering Sea are common for this time of year, this storm is unusual because it is going farther north.   Also, without the cover of sea ice, Alaska's coast will feel the full brunt of the 6 to 9 foot storm surge.

Be Prepared for
Winter Storms & Extreme Cold 

Federal, state and local agencies were making emergency preparations in advance of the storm.

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