"I was born and raised in Kotzebue and have been through many storms. This was one of the worst."
Observation by Jimmy Evak:
I was born and raised in Kotzebue and have been through many storm. This was one of the worst. Our weather station was down but someone recorded 67 mph. This storm happened after we had already been declared a disaster area by the governor, some days before.
Comment by Rick Thoman:
An unseasonably strong storm moved from the far western Bering Sea northeastward across the Russian Far East. At the same time, there was strong high pressure over Interior Alaska. This strong pressure difference produced the extreme winds and massive drifting. The peak wind reported from the NWS automated weather station at the Airport was 75 mph. This is the highest March wind speed at Kotzebue in at least the past 45 years and is close to the highest wind speed reported since 1979, which is 76 mph in November 2011.
Low and high pressure systems that generated high winds.
The day before the storm. FAA webcam image facing NE / Kotzebue / approximately 5PM on March 24, 2023