Winter storm brings strong winds, blowing snow to Nome, Bering Strait region

A low-pressure system southwest of Saint Lawrence Island is producing snow and strong winds around the region.

The Southern Seward Peninsula is under a winter storm warning until Wednesday at 6 p.m. In Nome, all schools and state offices are closed. All flights have also been canceled. (Image: National Weather Service)
The Southern Seward Peninsula is under a winter storm warning until Wednesday at 6 p.m. In Nome, all schools and state offices are closed. All flights have also been canceled. (Image: National Weather Service)

Robert Murders is a meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Nome. He said the storm is not unusual for this time of year, but it is hitting Nome the hardest.

“We happen to be where the snow is falling. Of course, the snow combined with the high winds and the blowing snow really reduces the visibility,” he said.

Even with high winds, Murders said that communities farther east — including Elim, Koyuk, and Shaktoolik — are enjoying better visibility due to lighter snow. In Savoonga, he said visibility is very low, but only because of fog that often develops over Saint Lawrence Island.

Murders said the snow in Nome will taper off in the afternoon, while strong winds and blowing snow continue.

He also said the storm system is unlikely to help low snow conditions affecting the Anchorage area and the start of the Iditarod Trail.

“It’s moving to the north and northeast, so it’s not far enough over down south,” he said. “They could get some snow, but this isn’t going to be a big, one-foot snow-producing type of system. It’s moving pretty fast through the area, and it’s so warm down in the south right now.”

The southern Seward Peninsula is under a winter storm warning until Wednesday at 6 p.m. In Nome, all schools and state offices are closed. All flights have also been canceled.