Freak Polar Hurricane Pummels Alaska

“The most powerful storm to affect the Bering Sea coast of Alaska in 37 years is pounding Alaska’s west coast and Eastern Siberia with hurricane-force winds, a destructive storm surge up to 7 feet high, waves up to 35 feet high, and blinding snow,” Wunderground’s Jeff Masters reports on the Alaska superstorm. “Tin City on the west coast of Alaska north of Nome recorded sustained winds of 70 mph, gusting to 81 mph, at 1:55 am local time this morning, and hurricane-force winds are likely affecting much of the open waters of the Bering Sea. A storm surge of 6 feet hit Nome, Alaska this morning, pushed inland by sustained winds that reached 45 mph, gusting to 61 mph. A even higher storm surge is predicted for this evening. The last time Nome, Alaska saw a storm this strong was November 11–12 1974, when the city experienced sustained winds of 46 mph with gusts to 69 mph, a pressure that bottomed out at 969 mb, and a storm surge of 13 feet that pushed beach driftwood above the previous high storm tide mark set in 1913. The center of today’s storm moved ashore over eastern Siberia near 12 UTC with a central pressure of 945 mb. The storm has likely peaked in strength, and will gradually weaken as it moves northeast into the Arctic.”