Puddles on ice, slippery sidewalks and heavy wet snow berms are remnants of a three-day weather event that pummeled Nome and the region. According to UAF Climate Specialist Rick Thoman, “that’s the highest three day total on record for Nome in March in the past 116 years.
Safeway on Mill Bay Road is the only large grocery store on the island. And store management expected the barge to bypass Kodiak after its last visit, with a resupply stop scheduled ahead of this past weekend. But snowstorms and gusty weather, including hurricane-force winds, scuttled those plans. “In my entire career, I’ve never seen two successive bypasses,” said Mike Murray, the store director of Kodiak’s Safeway.
The weekend was marked by cold sunny days and stunning aurora displays at night, but then the weather took another turn. By Tuesday morning, an east wind was howling and blowing snow sideways. The week started looking like a repeat of the last.
The roof collapsed at a South Anchorage gym during a fitness competition. The Anchorage Office of Emergency Management cautioned residents that the city has had near-record snow conditions this winter, and residents should consider the snow load on their roofs. Officials also warned that property owners should exercise extreme caution if removing snow from their roofs themselves.
Just this month, more than 23 inches of snow have fallen in Anchorage, 17.5 inches above normal. A weekend storm clogged Anchorage streets, creating hazardous road conditions. The Anchorage School District closed school buildings and canceled after-school activities, calling a remote learning day.
A dry January across most of Idaho left the Panhandle with below-normal snowpack and increased drought worries."Notably, the Coeur d’Alene-St. Joe basins received only 38% of normal precipitation for January," according to the Idaho Water Supply Report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service released Tuesday. Nine snow monitoring sites in the Panhandle recorded their driest or second-driest January, the report said.
A boulder tumbled down the face of Mount Roberts early Wednesday, damaging one side of the Basin Road Trestle’s wooden railing and closing the road. Mattice says slides are more common in the fall, but warm, wet conditions this winter contributed to the rockfall — especially this weekend’s heavy rains.
The last time the water levels were this high in some places was in the late 1990s or early 2000s. According to the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), floodwaters will likely spill onto fields and roads in parts of southern and western Finland, but not into buildings.
Road crews say they’re still working to fully carve out the streets and haul snow away, after the city was hit with a trio of major storms this month. Some of Anchorage’s roads are maintained by the state of Alaska, and others by the city.
Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough schools and state offices are closed Thursday as a third major winter storm this month coated the area with snow overnight Wednesday. “In the past 11 days, we’ve had 41.1 inches of snow which is a lot for Anchorage,” Baines said.