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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

1:20 PM | More on the Alaska superstorm and the solar storm threat

Paul Dorian


The “Bering Sea Superstorm” that pounded Alaska yesterday was as deep and intense as many major hurricanes before gradually weakening in the overnight hours. The barometric pressure of the storm was as low as 943 millibars (27.84 inches) on Wednesday before some weakening took place. Blizzard conditions and peak wind gusts of 89 mph (Wales) and 87 mph (Red Dog) were recorded during the height of the storm on Wednesday and sea levels rose to 10 feet above normal. There were numerous reports of buildings damaged, roads under water and major beach erosion across western Alaska. The storm was the strongest to hit western Alaska since November 1974. A part of the Alaska storm will slide down the west coast of Canada and affect the Pacific Northwest on Friday and Saturday. Interestingly, a massive storm followed that last Alaska super storm in the East by about 3 weeks…we’ll see what happens this year.

As far as the sun is concerned, an eruption occurred yesterday which followed another eruption that occurred on Monday and the two will likely combine to deliver at least a glancing blow to the Earth’s magnetic field on Friday or Saturday. As a result, sky watchers should be on alert for possible northern lights over the next few nights; especially, in the higher latitudes.