June 29, 2017
Bering Sea Storm Weakens After Hitting Alaska, Probably Because It Was Chicken [Opinion]

The Bering Sea storm was tough, but Alaska is apparently tougher. Alaskan communities are seeing the impact of the massive storm Saturday night, but it weakened as it hit populated areas of Alaska... Probably because it just didn't have the energy to try to take on a people with a motto like, "North to the Future." This year alone, Alaskans came together as a massive wildfire engulfed their state. After that, back-to-back earthquakes with the threat of larger quakes to come couldn't shake them. If the storm had dared to take on Alaska, residents probably would have just headed on over to The Pour House at Hooligans Lodge or a similar venue in the Land of the Midnight Sun, played some poker, and had a coffee.

Hurricane force winds ripped into the Aleutians Friday, according to Alaska Dispatch News. Shemya, located in the far western Aleutians, saw wind gusts of almost 100 mph. That island homes the U.S. Air Force's Eareckson Air Station, but everyone heeded warnings with level heads, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Public Affairs in Kodiak said that there were no storm-related injuries or distress calls as of late Friday afternoon, but on Sunday, the Coast Guard will fly over the area to further assess damage. The National Weather Service indicated there were still no reports of major damage on Saturday.Inquisitr reported, as the storm approached, that it was expected to cause 50 foot waves and hit the lowest pressure in recorded history. While the continental U.S. is tweeting about the "polar vortex" that may arrive as a result of the Bering Sea storm, Alaskans themselves are downplaying the storm, at least in media reports... Even as threats were made that the storm would see lower barometric pressure than the historic storm of the area which hit in 1977.

"One, we don't think it's quite strong enough," Joe Wegman, a meteorologist in Anchorage told Alaska Dispatch News. "And secondly, there aren't any barometers out there (in the Bering Sea) to measure it."

Even still, reports are that the Bering Sea storm did, technically, break the record.

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that some of the vessels didn't make it back to port before the storm hit and chose to ride the storm out at sea. On social media, Alaskans are eager for their fishermen to come home, but I was unable to find anyone from Alaska as openly stressed about that as the rest of the nation appears to be about temperatures dipping 20 to 30 degrees below average. Their loved ones may be in fishing boats riding out the planet's strongest storm of the year, but have they even seen this week's chilly forecast for the midwest?!

Paul Fuhs of Anchorage summed up the general chatter of Alaskans in media reports.

"I remember storms like this when I lived in dutch. It blew 137 MPH once. They call it a hurricane everywhere else but we just called it fresh air. 'Boy....lots of fresh air today,'" Fuhs joked. "We tried to put up a wind energy system once but it peeled the blades straight back. Too much of a good thing?"

It was a massive storm. From north to south, the "Bering Bomb" stretched 2,000 miles, but even as other meteorologists are calling it a record breaker, the National Weather Service in Alaska says that it's still too close to call.

"We cannot, and will not, say this is the lowest ever North Pacific storm depth. It's quite possible other past storms had lower pressure over the ocean where we have few, if any, observations," The NWS in Alaska wrote on its Facebook page.

Though the Bering Sea storm was knocking at Alaska's door, the clamor from our most Northern state in where near compares to the grave concerns of the continental U.S. over the approaching November chill.

From forest fires engulfing hundreds of thousand of acres to hurricane force winter storms from the Bering Sea, Alaska plays it cool.

[Photo via Pixabay]