Alaska is collecting extreme weather events in the last weeks. After a bombogenesis brought hurricane-like winds to the Bering Sea, now a completely crazy 10 inches of snow per hour was reported at Thompson Pass near Valdez, Alaska on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. This is extraordinary even for Valdez, the snowiest town in the United States. The phenomenon behind this unprecedented snowfall is a “snow AR” or an atmospheric river that is producing snow instead of rain. Meanwhile the mainland western USA stays high and dry.
On Wednesday, December 6, this storm dropped 5 inches of snow in 30 minutes, 10 inches in 60 minutes and 15 inches in 90 minutes at Thompson Pass. Between December 3 – 6, 13:00 local time, the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL site at Nicks Valley at 4 280 feet picked up 83 inches of snow, making a total of 126 inches. And now this:
This Thompson Pass storm ranks among the most intense snowfalls we know of. Other violent snowstorms are Copenhagen, N.Y. on December 2, 1966, where 12 inches fell in 60 minutes and Oswego, NY on January 26, 1972, where 17.5 inches fell in a two hour period. Both storms were the result of a lake effect snow, which is actually going on right now on the eat coast of the US (see pictures below).