Yakutat, Alaska Declares Snow Emergency–Roofs Collapsing
The City and Borough of Yakutat declared a ‘local disaster emergency‘ this week, citing the imminent threat of roof collapse caused by high snow loads across the Southeast Alaska city. In response, The National Guard deployed service members and vehicles via military airlift.
As reported by alaskapublic.org, Borough Manager Jon Erickson said Yakutat has has seen 6 feet of snow over the past few weeks, causing intermittent power outages, damage to buildings and school closures. The city keeps four snow shovelers on retainer, but Erickson said the team is too small to keep up with the accumulating snow.
“We’ve been shoveling off, but right now we just don’t have enough shovelers,” he said. “So we contacted emergency management, and they’re probably going to be sending a team of 10 shovelers down here.”
The newly built $11 million Community Health Center is badly damaged, with repair work expected to run into the millions.
“We closed the Community Health Center so we don’t have any outpatient service,” said Erickson. “All we have is emergency service and ambulance service. That’s really what’s kind of scary.”
The story is a similar one across Southeast Alaska.
In Juneau, substantial snow shut schools, state offices and the community’s largest grocery store this week, and the roofs of at least two buildings gave-way due to the heavy load, including a commercial building in Lemon Creek:
While in the small Admiralty Island community of Angoon, freezing temperatures have taken a toll on the already-stressed water facility, causing village-wide water shortages.
Historic cold has been gripping the majority of Alaska in recent weeks. In the south-eastern town of Ketchikan, for example, temperatures dropped to -18C (-0.4F) on December 25 & 26 — the town’s coldest Christmas period of the past century+, with the old records being the -14.4C (6F) in 1967, and the -15C (5F) from 1917.
In fact, the past few months have been exceptionally frigid. ‘Alaska had a November to remember’, is how natureworldnews.com put it. The town of King Salmon suffered its coldest Nov on record, averaging just -15.6C (4F). And it wasn’t alone. According to National Weather Service data, many Alaskan locales suffered either their coldest or one of their coldest Novembers and Decembers in recorded history — a phenomenon tied to the behavior of the jet stream (for more on that, click the link below).
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Erupts to 50,000 Feet
Following Dec 19th’s blast to 49,200 feet, powerful explosive activity has continued at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Wellington warned Thurs, Jan 13 of a plume rising to 55,000 ft (16.8km),
Satellite imagery confirms the high-level eruption:
From available satellite images and pictures, the presence of water is likely causing significant explosive interaction (phreatomagmatic activity) of water and magma.
This looks to be a VEI 2 eruption (maybe VEI 3) — and although noteworthy, it will likely have limited impact on global temperatures. We’re still waiting for that ‘big one’, that monster VEI 6 or 7 that shoots a seemingly endless stream of particulates into the stratosphere that block the sunlight and plunge Earth’s average temperature ≈2C almost overnight.
Snowcat Buried In Colorado
Crews at Wolf Creek Ski Area in Pagosa Springs undertook some serious shoveling this week after one of their snowcats was completely covered by the recent record-breaking snowfall.
“Mining for the goods,” is how they described it on Facebook, “extraction of the Horseshoe Bowl Snowcat … How it started vs. how it’s going.”
The snowcat took about 12 hours to free, according to resort officials.
The area has received 217 inches of snow so far this season, driving the area’s snowpack to well-above-average levels.
Likewise across the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, total snow mass is holding 400 Gigatons above the 1982-2012 norm:
“Big Freeze” On The Way For U.S.
A winter storm is lining up to deliver yet more heavy snows and freezing lows to the U.S. this weekend, most notably in the Eastern half of the CONUS where long-standing cold records from the Dakotas to the Northeast are under threat.
Dangerous ice, snow and winds will makes their way through America’s Midwest, South and East over the weekend.
According to the Weather Channel, the winter storm –which they’ve named “Storm Izzy”– will move from North Dakota down to northern Georgia and then up to Maine Friday through Monday in a U-shaped track.
An “active jet stream plunging southward across two-thirds” of the United States will make its way from the Northern Plains to New England in a matter of four days, reads a portion of the report.
The National Weather Service has issued various winter storm warnings, advisories, and watches across areas of the Midwest and South. The storm could result in a significant bomb cyclone or a nor’easter hitting New York City Sunday night.
Dave Dombek, a senior meteorologist at Accuweather, told The New York Post: “A lot can change in the next few days, but given what we’re seeing right now, that’s our thinking — that there certainly will be enough snow at least for a long enough period of time that it will mess up travel … it could be a real mess for a time.”
The Weather Channel report continues: “Snow will continue to spread southeastward during [Friday] from the Northern Plains into parts of Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Snow could be heavy in some of those areas.
“Friday night, snow should eventually taper off in North Dakota, South Dakota and much of Minnesota, but will continue –heavy in spots– over eastern Nebraska, Iowa, northern Missouri, northeast Kansas and western Illinois.
“Rain changing to snow could spread into southern Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.”
On Saturday, the snow is expected to move south through areas of southern Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas, with the southern Appalachians receiving “a lot of snow”.
As Saturday night comes around, “a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected to develop from parts of northern Georgia into northern South Carolina, North Carolina and southwestern Virginia,” continues the report.
The storm will then make its way from Arkansas to southern Missouri and to Kentucky and certain areas of Tennessee.
The Weather Channel notes that from Sunday on, “the uncertainty in the forecast details is still significant, dependent on the exact track of low pressure and the extent of cold air.” But adds that on Monday, parts of West Virginia, western and central Pennsylvania and New York state into New England could see the most substantial falls of the entire event, with “heavy, wind-driven snow” sweeping much of the Eastern Seaboard (confirmed by the latest GFS run below).
Already, record low temperatures are hitting the Northeast and upper Midwest. And while forecasts remain uncertain –with the jet stream almost impossible to predict nowadays– this is shaping-up to be a record-setting event.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among many other forcings, including the impending release of the Beaufort Gyre).
Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be and grow your own.
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