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Alaska: Extreme Snowfall Dumped 10 Inches Per Hour

Alaska: Extreme Snowfall Dumped 10 Inches Per Hour
A snow plows works to clear the road during an extreme snowfall in Alaska on Wednesday. (Facebook/Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities)

By    |   Friday, 08 December 2017 04:59 PM

A snowstorm at Alaska’s Thompson Pass dumped 10 inches of snow on the area in an hour’s time, or a total of about 15 inches in 90 minutes.

The area, which is right outside of Valdez, had about 40 inches of snow over 12 hours Wednesday, with the heaviest snow falling at 10 inches per hour, The Washington Post reported.

The snow caused a 20-foot-deep and 2,000-foot-long avalanche that closed part of Richardson Highway near Valdez, reported Strange Sounds.

It was one of the most intense snowfalls in the U.S., with the others being from lake effect snow in upstate New York, The Washington Post reported. Copenhagen, New York, had 12 inches of snow fall in 60 minutes on Dec. 12, 1966; and Oswego, New York, had 17.5 inches fall in just two hours in January 1972.

The Alaska storm was not the result of any lake effect, but involved similar amounts of moisture from an atmospheric river that carried warm Pacific Ocean moisture over Alaska’s mountainous coast, The Washington Post reported.

Also in play was the North American Winter Dipole, which means that the West is experiencing unusually warm conditions and the East is having typically cold temperatures, according to the Capital Weather Gang, whose Jason Samenow blamed the phenomenon on climate change.

The unusually warm weather on the West Coast has led to wildfires this week from hot Santa Ana winds and a lack of rain over the last few months, Strange Sounds reported.

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An extreme snowstorm dumped 10 inches of snowfall on Alaska’s Thompson Pass area in an hour’s time, or a total of about 15 inches within 90 minutes.
alaska, extreme snowfall
Friday, 08 December 2017 04:59 PM
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