STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — AccuWeather – A powerful storm that resembles a hurricane with snow, a “snowicane”, continues to pound western Alaska. “The potentially historic ‘superstorm’… is making ‘landfall’ in Alaska today with a pressure equivalent to a Category 4 Hurricane,” said AccuWeather.com’s Jesse Ferrell.
Part of this fierce storm will dive into the contiguous United States on Friday, once again revving up the Northwest’s storm train.
“For people in the Bering Sea region, including shipping and fishing interests, this is considered to be a life-threatening storm situation,” warned Accuweather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
The powerful storm is unleashing damaging winds, blizzard conditions, huge waves and coastal flooding. A 7-foot storm surge hit Nome, Alaska with water reportedly reaching the base of buildings. There have also been reports of roofs in Nome being blown off.
One incredibly impressive observation with this storm came from a coastal station that measured ice accretion of 23.5 inches per hour Tuesday night, according to Ferrell, who has more statistics on this historic storm in his blog.
AccuWeather.com International Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews has never seen worse conditions at the Tin City Military Airport, Alaska, than that was observed overnight Tuesday.
For more than six consecutive hours, persistent Category 1-hurricane wind gusts slammed the military airport. The winds peaked at 85 mph at 4 a.m. EST.
The worst of the storm will continue to pound northwestern Alaska, including Nome, today before shifting to southwestern Alaska tonight.
A piece of the storm will also move into the Gulf of Alaska tonight before delivering a shot of rain and mountain snow to the Alaska Panhandle, including Juneau.
The storm will then drop through the Northwest Friday into Friday night with a quick shot of disruptive snow for the mountain passes, low-elevation rain and gusty winds.
Friday’s storm will actually mark the start of a parade of Northwest storms.
Numerous storms will follow the first into the Northwest through next week.
The details of each will unfold in the upcoming days, but it appears to AccuWeather.com meteorologists that snow levels will progressively drop as each storm swings through into the middle of next week.
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com. AccuWeather.com meteorologist Heather Buchman also reported on this story.