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In Alaska this winter, below 30-below is becoming normal

January 7, 2012 |  2:22 pm


Even by Alaska's standards, it’s been a harsh winter.

On Friday, the city of Nome, home to about 3,500 people on the state's western coast, hit its 10th consecutive day of temperatures colder than minus 30 and was poised to hit that mark again Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The sub-30-below temperatures are expected to continue for several more days. The town has not seen temperatures above zero since Dec. 23.

Temperatures at the Fairbanks International Airport dropped to minus 42 overnight, the National Weather Service reported Saturday. That too was beginning to seem almost normal. The temperature at the airport has fallen to minus 40 or lower five other times this season, the service said.

The statement pointed out, however, that the season record for minus 40 or colder was set in the winter of 1965-65. Then, 37 days hit the below-40 benchmark.

Nome, meanwhile, is awaiting the arrival of a Russian tanker forging through Bearing Sea ice to deliver crucial fuel to the town. Without the replenishment, the town could run out before winter ends.

The vessel, named Renda, has about 300 miles of ice left to travel through, the Associated Press reports.

Elsewhere in Alaska, the blizzard-hit town of Valdez, as of Thursday, had received 252.8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Snowfall is expected to continue in the region through the weekend, with 10 to 12 inches expected to fall by Saturday night.


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Photo: A snow dump grows higher and higher  at West 92nd Avenue and C Street in Anchorage, and there's more snow in the forecast. Credit: Erik HIll/Anchorage Daily News/Associated Press