Winter is ending in some places in the northern hemisphere. In one US state, it happens so violently that snowfall records are broken. Residents are struggling with power outages and there are also the first victims of the frost attack.
Alaska has seen very heavy snowfall in recent weeks. There is so much white fluff that it is approaching record values. November 2023 is on track to be the snowiest month on record for the state. Due to extreme weather, residents of the American region are struggling with very big problems. The city of Anchorage cannot keep up with clearing snow from roads, and power outages are also reported. The frost also led to the death of several people.
Record snowfall in Alaska
Anchorage averages about 60 inches of snow throughout the winter, making it the seventh-highest snowfall city in the US. Approximately 99 cm of snow has fallen there since October this year, which means that half of the entire season’s rainfall has already occurred before winter begins.
Last Wednesday, Anchorage broke the record for daily snowfall – over 23 cm of snow fell in 24 hours. Another 20 cm arrived the next day, setting another daily record. There was less rainfall on Friday, but it only intensified what the residents of the Alaskan city were facing.
Earlier this week, another snowstorm hit Alaska. Anchorage received 8 inches of new snow on Monday. Therefore, the city mayor declared a state of emergency. And November will probably go down in history as the snowiest.
“So much snow has fallen in a short period of time that people are having trouble keeping the roads open,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Nelson told CNN.
As of Tuesday, Anchorage had recorded 96 cm of snow (month-to-date). The snowiest November since records began in 1953, with 98.5 inches of snowfall in 1994, putting Anchorage within an inch of breaking that record. With 16 days left until the end of the month, the possibility of breaking the record is high.
Residents’ problems and warnings
Between 60 and 90 cm of snow could fall at highest elevations this coming week, but smaller amounts are expected in Anchorage. However, the National Weather Service warns that there is a high risk of falling tree branches due to winds that can gust up to 30 km/h. Wind may break branches under the weight of snow, and power outages are possible in the area.
The city mayor declared a state of emergency. It is valid until at least Friday. At least 4 people are considered victims of this year’s frost. These are mainly homeless people.
Weather and road conditions prompted the Anchorage school district to switch to remote learning on Thursday. This has been extended to Monday and Tuesday. The city’s public transport was suspended on Friday due to the terrible weather. The buses wouldn’t be able to get to their destination anyway.
The good news is that the upcoming rainfall will not be as heavy as the previous one. There is a chance that the situation will improve somewhat.