Alaska Just Saw One of the Most Extreme Snowfall Rates Ever Recorded on Wednesday: 10″ of Snow in 1-Hour

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Plowing roads in Valdez, AK on December 6th, 2017. photo: AK DOT

2,678′ Thompson Pass near Valdez, Alaska just recorded 10″ of snow in one hour on Wednesday.

That’s 1.7″ of snow every 10 minutes…

This powerful storm dropped 15″ of snow in just 90 minutes.

In the end, the storm piled up 40″ of snow in 12 hours.

This Thompson pass storm ranks amongst the most intense snowfalls ever recorded.  The other two being Lake Effect snowfall events off Lake Ontario:

  • 12″ of snowfall in 60 minutes at Copenhagen, NY on December 2nd, 1966
  • 17.5″ of snowfall in 120 minutes in Oswego, NY on January 26th, 1972
Snow coming down hard in Valdez, AK on December 6th, 2017. photo: AK DOT

This storm ranks as one of the most intense snowfalls on record.

This big storm was due to an atmospheric river storm that came ripping in off the Pacific Ocean.

The Atmopheric river moisture hose of the system on December 6th. Image: MountainWeather of Jackson Hole

This storm was assisted by the fierce North American Winter Dipole currently occurring that is causing above normal temperatures in the West and very cold conditions in the East.  This weather pattern causes the jet stream to shoot to the north into Alaska. 

This storm dropped enough snow to cause a large avalanche to come down and close the road over Thompson Pass to Valdez, AK under 20-feet of snow.

The North American Winter Dipole happening now. image: noaa, yesterday
Thompson Pass sits at 2,678′ and is the snowiest weather station in the USA seeing 600-900″ of snowfall per year.
Valdez, AK sees about 300″ of snowfall per year.

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