The storm brought winds up to 40 mph to communities from Wainwright to Kaktovik, weather officials said. High waves damaged a road in Utqiagvik, affecting around five houses, residents reported.
The average temperature in July was 48.4 degrees — 6.7 degrees above normal, with 11 hot days in a row. Such extreme warmth can accelerate the greening and permafrost thaw on the North Slope.
A wayward walrus calf, just one month old, was rescued from the North Slope. Workers on the North Slope spotted the baby walrus on tundra, about four miles inland from the Beaufort Sea.
Object shot down by US Air Force, ordered by Biden, over North slope of Alaska.
The lack of winter sea ice is keeping temperatures warm. Climatologist Rick Thoman says it's a "very clear climate change signal."
Forecasters say they are expecting significant coastal erosion from Utqiagvik to Unalakleet from the second severe-weather event to hit the region in three weeks.
In Utqiaġvik, where the coast is eroding at some of the fastest rates in the nation, storms, flooding and thawing permafrost damage houses, roads and cultural sites. Ice forms later each year and storms are becoming longer and more severe.
A seawall planned for Utqiagvik is aimed at protecting residents from extreme storms while preserving their connection to the ocean.
Officials are still examining the substance in a lab to determine what it is, but DEC suspects it’s black tar or asphalt.
The open ocean off Utqiagvik in fall and early winter is evidence of climate change. Remarkably, bowhead whales appear to be thriving, although there are new challenges. Kidney-worm infections have been detected in bowheads, possibly brought by other species of whales coming north. And then there are the killer whales, a natural predators of bowheads now venturing north.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game records show two other unusually wayward moose hunts: One in 2016 taken north of Teshekpuk Lake along the Arctic coast, and another in 2014 on the Kokolik River near Point Lay.
After 100 highs, Utqiagvik marks record low temperature
The United States’ northernmost city plummeted to a bone-chilling minus 20 degrees Wednesday morning, beating out the previous daily record set in 1973.
It's been a challenging year for whalers in Utqiagvik. Crews started going out in September, but found the bowheads weren't appearing in their usual concentrations in the waters closer to shore. On the water Nov. 16 Panigiuq Crew landed the first whale of the season for Utqiagvik, later than many people can remember ever bringing one in before.
Aerial surveys this September and October show the bowheads aren’t where they usually are.
When temperatures soar this high above the Arctic Circle, it’s an attention-grabber.
“I think it was a little more stable, and there was a little bit more assurance that the ice you were on was not going to disintegrate on you that easy,” said whaling captain Gordon Brower.
The two men, who were both part of an active whaling crew, were in one of the boats on a towline, towing a whale to shore, when their boat flipped, according to fellow whalers who were there when it happened.
Unusual Stellar sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) sighting in Utqiaġvik.
"These ridges that we’re standing on, there would have been more of them, and they would have been bigger," ice researcher Andy Mahoney said. "The features that we now see, they’re something of a shadow from the past." Listen now