“Epic Arctic Hurricane” slams Alaska: Storm surge & Gusts to 90 mph!

This may be one for the record books.

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Hurricane force storm plowing into Alaska’s west coast.

(Image courtesy Alaska NWS)

-Alaska NWS radio update

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The most powerful storm since 1974 is hammering Alaska’s west coast with hurricane force winds, storm surge up to 9 feet, severe coastal flooding and heavy snow.

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Alaska NWS highlights expected effects

Nome looks to be in the direct path of the Mega Storm, which Alaska’s NWS compares to the November 11-12, 1974 storm…the strongest in Nome’s 113 years of weather records.

“Major differences between the 1974 storm and this upcoming storm include the fact that tides were much greater in the 1974 storm,” NWS said. “However, sea ice extent is currently much lower than it was in 1974, thus providing no protection along the coast and greater fetch.”

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Forecast costal surge at Nome, AK

Wind gusts with the storm are forecast to reach 90 to possibly 100 mph just offshore in the Bearing Sea. That’s equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Scale!

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Check out the alarming wording from the Fairbanks NWS: (my highlights in bold)

…ALASKA WEST COAST TO BE HIT BY ONE OF THE MOST SEVERE BERING SEA STORMS ON RECORD…

A POWERFUL AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM OF NEAR RECORD OR RECORD MAGNITUDE IS BEARING DOWN ON THE WEST COAST OF ALASKA. AT 9 AM THIS MORNING THE STORM CENTER WAS LOCATED ABOUT 600

MILES SOUTHWEST OF ST LAWRENCE ISLAND. THE STORM IS FORECAST

TO MOVE RAPIDLY NORTHEAST TODAY AND TONIGHT WITH THE CENTER

MOVING ACROSS THE CHUKOTSK PENINSULA TONIGHT. ON WEDNESDAY

THE STORM WILL TAKE A NORTHWESTWARD TRACK INTO THE CHUKCHI SEA.

THE STORM WILL BRING EXTREMELY STRONG WINDS TO ALL OF THE

ALASKA WEST COAST BEGINNING THIS AFTERNOON OVER ST LAWRENCE

ISLAND AND BEGINNING THIS EVENING OVER THE REMAINDER OF

THE WEST COAST…ACCOMPANIED BY WIDESPREAD MAJOR COASTAL

FLOODING AND SEVERE BEACH EROSION OVER MANY PARTS OF THE

COASTLINE. THE WIND WILL PUSH LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER INTO NORTON SOUND…RAISING SEA LEVELS TO 7 TO 9 FEET ABOVE NORMAL IN NORTON SOUND AND ALONG THE BERING STRAIT COAST. THE EXTREMELY STRONG WINDS WILL PRODUCE HIGH WAVES WHICH WILL PUSH THE HIGH WATER

FARTHER INLAND.

OVER THE BERING STRAIT COAST AND ST LAWRENCE ISLAND…

SUSTAINED WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH 75 MPH WITH MAXIMUM

GUSTS OF 90 TO 100 MPH. ALONG THE CHUKCHI COAST…WIND

SPEEDS OF 65 TO 70 MPH WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 90 MPH ARE

EXPECTED. IN THE NOME AREA…SUSTAINED WINDS AS HIGH AS

60 MPH ARE EXPECTED…WITH GUSTS TO 70 MPH. ALMOST ALL OTHER

AREAS OF THE WEST COAST WILL EXPERIENCE MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS

OF AT LEAST 50 TO 60 MPH.

THE STORM WILL PRODUCE BLIZZARD OR NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS

OVER MOST AREAS OF THE WESTERN ALASKA MAINLAND…WITH VISIBILITY

REDUCED TO NEAR ZERO IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW. PEOPLE ARE URGED

TO SEEK SHELTER NOW AND POSTPONE TRAVEL INTO THE BACK COUNTRY

UNTIL THE STORM ABATES.

ALL BOAT OPERATORS SHOULD SEEK SAFETY IN PORT IMMEDIATELY

IF THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO. IN AREAS WHERE BEACH

EROSION AND COASTAL FLOODING IS EXPECTED…SMALL BOATS

AND PERSONAL PROPERTY SHOULD BE MOVED WELL AWAY FROM THE

SHORE AND TO HIGHER GROUND.

AGAIN…THIS WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING STORM OF AN EPIC MAGNITUDE RARELY EXPERIENCED. ALL PEOPLE IN THE AREA SHOULD TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO SAFEGUARD THEIR LIVES AND PROPERTY.

More….

SEAS ARE STARTING TO BUILD RAPIDLY ALONG THE COAST. ACCORDING

TO RECENT REPORTS AND OBSERVATIONS ALONG THE SEAWALL IN NOME

WAVE ACTION IS SUBSTANTILLY HIGHER WITH SOME SPRAY COMING UP

ONTO THE EAST END OF FRONT STREET…BUT WITH NO SUBSTANTIAL

FLOODING REPORTED AS OF 6 PM. HOWEVER…FRONT STREET IN NOME

AT THIS TIME IS UNDER VOLUNTARY EVACUATION. AS THIS POWERFUL STORM

PROGRESSES THROUGH THE EVENING THE SEAS WILL GET HIGHER AND

CONDITIONS ALONG FRONT STREET AND THE SHORLINE WILL BECOME MORE

HAZARDOUS.

Just off the coast, “Hurricane Force Wind Warnings” are flying.

…HURRICANE FORCE WIND WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON…

.TONIGHT…SE WINDS 55 KT INCREASING TO 65 KT WITH GUSTS TO

75 KT. SEAS 27 FT. VSBY 1 NM OR LESS. SNOW.

.WED…SW WINDS 70 KT WITH GUSTS TO 85 KT DECREASING TO 55 KT IN

THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 29 FT. VSBY 1 NM OR LESS. SNOW.

.WED NIGHT…SW WINDS 45 KT. SEAS 25 FT. HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY.

.THU…SW WINDS 50 KT. SEAS 23 FT. HEAVY FREEZING SPRAY.

PH

  • Tyler

    I hope all those “Deadly Catch” boats (well, ALL fishermen, of course) have made it in to harbor.

  • Sue

    Is this storm coming our way?

    I hope the population of Alaska takes this monster seriously. Good Luck.