Nome in Long Deep Freeze — Sign of Rampant Cooling?

Russ Steele

If you have been watching the news, you have seen the Russian Tanker struggling to bring fuel to Nome. The Nome Nugget has some insight into how all that ice got so thick, requiring a Coast Guard Ice Breaker to lead the way to Nome.

The Nome post of the National Weather Service reported that Nome reached a temperature of -40oF for the first time in almost 13 years on Thursday, January 5. The last time Nome recorded -40oF without windchill was on February 1, 1999. Bob Ten Eyck, meteorologist with the NWS in Nome said the low on Sunday still recorded a -30oF, making it 12 consecutive days of the 30-below-cold-snap. He said that the normal temperature for January is 13oF and the normal low is -3oF. 


The Nugget reports that “Nome has not been above 0oF since Dec. 23 and broke records on January 3 with -37oF (old -34oF, 1949), Jan. 4 with -38oF (old -34oF, 1917) and tied with the old record of -40oF from 1917 on Jan. 5.”

This stretch of inclement weather was never before seen in the entire “105-years of climatological history in Nome.”

This raises the question, is this just the beginning of long term cooling, or just another short term weather anomaly?  Stay Tuned!


One thought on “Nome in Long Deep Freeze — Sign of Rampant Cooling?

  1. Sean January 17, 2012 / 1:26 pm

    This is interesting but remember last year’s story, the freezing in the Baltic off the coast of Finland and also in the far east in the sea or bay formed by the Kamchatka Peninsula. Those areas are not too bad this year. The big freeze seems to wander a bit. I suspect these are due to persistent blocking patterns in the jet stream or the position of the polar vortex coupled with the arctic oscillation. Do these persistent patterns tell us anything? As I recall, Anthony Watts had a page on the weather during the time of Dickens (mid 19th century). Within a single decade you would have brutal winters, then mild winters then back to brutal. Summers were similar. At one point I also ran across a video that describe the wild weather in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Maunder Minimum. Again, there would be mild years and there would be years with extreme events. (Like 1 meter of hail in Germany). Perhaps its not just the ice in Nome, it’s all the extreme weather that may be a harbinger of cooling in the pipeline.

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