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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Massive Storm Strikes Alaska (Again)

Andrew Freedman

Credit: Naval Research Lab.
A massive storm system is buffeting the state of Alaska, the latest in a string of storms to strike the state so far this fall. The storm, which has a textbook comma-shape to it, with the center of the low pressure area located in the middle of that comma swirl, intensified at an extraordinarily rapid rate on September 26. According to the National Weather Service's Ocean Prediction Center, the low pressure deepened 42 mb in just 24 hours, which would be unusual even for a tropical storm or hurricane. This stunning satellite animation captures the rapid development of the storm. At one point, its minimum central pressure was lower than Hurricane Isaac's at its most intense point.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm in Alaska is so large it could cover most of the lower 48 states.

As the Capital Weather Gang blog reported on Thursday, this storm is one of three very intense storms to strike different parts of the world in recent days. In the western Pacific, Super Typhoon Jelawat exploded from a tropical storm to a Category 4 Super Typhoon in just 24 hours earlier this week, and the most intense storm since 1981 struck Britain.

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