WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Alaska Superstorm Stats and Update

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
11/10/2011, 7:46:07 AM

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UPDATE 11/10: The NWS says "In Nome, water levels crested at 10 feet Wednesday evening, breaking over a sea wall. Power and communications have been intermittent. Westerly winds developing today may [cause] ice in Norton Bay [to] shove inland and cause severe damage." Below is the graph showing the storm surge.


Here's another great YouTube video showing the storm surge overwhelming vehicles in Diomede:

UPDATE: Here's a cool satellite image / weather map from CIMSS. The NWS says the Nome storm surge will rise again tonight. Added Red Dog 87 mph gust below.

The potentially-historic "superstorm" I talked about yesterday is making "landfall" in Alaska today with a pressure equivalent to a Category 4 Hurricane. You can read more about the potential impacts in our news story (which calls it a "snowicane").

Here's some video from last night:

The web is abuzz with resources to keep an eye on the storm. One amazing thing is the large wind field - see forecast wind map below.


Statistically, these are the extremes:

PRESSURE: The surface map says the storm is below 950 mb.CNN quotes the low as 940 mb while the NWS says 943. A buoy measured 28.22" (956 mb)

WIND GUSTS: Reached 71.9 knots (82 mph) at a buoy offshore, 87 mph at Red Dog, and 85 mph at Tin City. Note the wind direction circulating around the cyclone in the wind map below.


WAVES: 39.5 feet reported from a buoy offshore

DAMAGE: Although no official "LSR" damage reports have been issued by the NWS, USAToday says "The National Weather Service office in Fairbanks has received reports of some roofs blowing off in Nome, where water reached the base of buildings."

STORM SURGE: +7 Feet at Nome. Forecast to rise to as high as 9 feet.


WIND CHILL: -17 F at an Alaska coastal station

ICE ACCRETION: Reached 23.5 inches per hour at a coastal station (wow).


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)