Alaska West Coast to be Impacted by Severe Bering Sea Storm
A powerful and extremely dangerous storm of near record or record magnitude is bearing down on the west coast of Alaska bringing with it hurricane force winds, blizzard conditions and significant storm surge.
As of November 9, 2011 at 02:30 Alaska Standard Time, water levels at Nome, AK, have risen about 6 feet over the past 12 hours and are significantly elevated. Winds at Nome and Red Dog, AK, continue to increase and range between 40 and 50 knots with gusts up to 60 knots. Winds at Village Cove, AK, have decreased over the past few hours and are now only ranging between 5 and 10 knots. Winds along the Aleutian Islands have also decreased. Barometric pressure continues to fall across western Alaska, however it has bottomed out along the Aleutians. The barometric pressure at Nome, AK, has fallen to 977 mb and is continuing to fall.
At this time initial damage assessment reports show the storm had tossed rocks onto roads, eroded beaches and blown off roofs. Storm surge is expected to peak Wednesday night and bring with it increased damages. Storms in this region are not typical and occurring this early in the season is very dangerous since the ice which normally shields the coast has not yet had time to freeze. The last time Alaska’s northwest coast saw something similar was in November 1974 with storm surge measured more than 13 feet.
Pacific Disaster Center Global Atlas