Zombie Tropical Storms Hit Alaska

Tropical Storms hit Alaska
NASA

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At the same time that South Carolina was awash with flooding because of a passing hurricane, another state was actually hit by the stormy remnants of a different hurricane. It was—wait for it—Alaska!

Hurricane Oho was originally threatening Hawaii, our most tropical state. Then—whoops—it turned north and slammed Canada and the panhandle of Alaska. British Columbia and the southern Panhandle of Alaska were hit with high winds, (up to 68 mph or tropical storm strength), torrential rain and heavy seas.

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Central Pacific Hurricane Oho takes an Alaskan cruise!

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Moisture from the storm stretched from Oregon to Alaska! Source: NOAA

What is more remarkable is that this is the third hurricane remnant to hit Alaska this year. In September it was hit by the remnants or Hurricanes Kilo and Ignacio. Even more remarkably, Hurricane Kilo was so strong that it crossed the International Dateline, became a Typhoon and then brushed near Japan. Its remnants slammed into Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, sucked up Tropical Storm Etau and finally staggered over and punched Alaska!

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Hurricane, then Typhoon Kilo had a long journey through the Pacific Source: Wikimedia

The reason that Alaska has had such an unpleasant taste of the tropics is the very strong El Niño. It has created a record breaking Pacific hurricane season. At the same time, the warmth from this Tropical Pacific water mass has leaked up along the West Coast so that the Northern Pacific Ocean is unusually hot. It has massive amounts of energy to feed tropical storms to keep them alive. The hurricanes die but their zombie remnants continue to haunt the Pacific.

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On the other hand—if you are Alaskan, you don’t have to travel to visit the tropics. The stormy tropics sending their zombie storms to visit you. Happy Halloween!

 

~ By  Evelyn Browing Garriss and James J. Garriss

About This Blog

Evelyn Browning Garriss doesn't just blog about the weather forecast; she provides insight on WHY extreme weather is happening--and a heads up on weather to watch out for. A historical climatologist, Evelyn blogs about weather history, interesting facts about the weather, and upcoming climate events that affect your life--from farming to your grocery bill. Every week, we look forward to another great weather column from Evelyn. We encourage our weather watchers to post their comments and questions--and tell us what they think!

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