ALASKA WEATHER UPDATE
Alaska still recovering from trio of hurricane-force storms
By Scott Sistek Published: Sep 25, 2012 at 7:00 AM PDT
Alaskans are among the hardiest in the world when it comes to weathering storms -- the Last Frontier isn't exactly known for tropical sunshine and swimsuit weather.
But September has brought a hat trick of challenges from Mother Nature that probably has most Alaskans ready to wave the white flag.
Three storms brought intense winds to the greater Anchorage area -- many spots had well over hurricane force with one gust in the hills above the city registered at 131 mph! Then a surge of tropical moisture dumped several inches of rain and caused massing flooding in some spots. (I've created a photo gallery on the left that shows many of the maps the National Weather Service office pasted on their Facebook page)
What happened? Two things. First, the remnants of a series of tropical storms and typhoons that ravaged the Asian coast in September got caught in the jet stream and carried east across the Pacific. But second, a big ridge of high pressure sat parked along the Pacific Coast and kept rain from even thinking of approaching our coast for weeks on end.
Instead that ridge shoved the jet stream well to the north, painting an unrelenting bulls-eye on the Anchorage and southeast Alaska areas for all that tropical moisture to come ashore. Most of Seattle's all-time great flood and wind events have been due to the remnants of Asian storms that get carried across the Pacific -- it was just Alaska's turn this time. (Good thing for us. That ridge isn't there and we might have been talking about one of the wetter August/Septembers on record than the driest.)
You can see an animation of this storm track that was posted on the Facebook page of the National Weather Service Office in Anchorage on Sept. 17:
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There is a river moving very fast now... This could be a good time.
- Hopi prophecy
- STATE OF ALASKA DECLARED DISASTER AREA: EPIC WINDS + SUPER-SOAKER RAINS = FLOODING - Mourann, 2012-09-24, 21:05
- ALASKA WEATHER UPDATE - Mourann, 2012-09-25, 20:41