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2016 January Monthly Report


Highlights

January started out with the Dalton Highway closed due to an avalanche between mileposts 242 and 249 while the Klondike Highway closed due to avalanche danger as road crews worked to reduce the hazard. The Dalton Highway was cleared by the next day, and then the Thane Road near Juneau was closed intermittently for avalanche danger reduction. A small stream flooding advisory was issued on the 2nd for ice jams on the Anchor River that extended into the next day, with flooding reported o the 7th. Fort Greely
reported a high wind speed of 51 mph on the 2nd. Icy roads caused a number of automobile accidents and ice-skating in the streets in Anchorage on the 2nd.

A travel advisory was issued for the Dalton Highway on the 5th due to blowing snow and reduced visibility between miles 242 and 247. Avalanche danger was listed as high. Avalanche control was planned for the area. The Aleutians braced for another El Ni–o directed storm headed for the area, and wind gust up to 76 mph were measured on the 6th at Adak, and 94 mph at Dutch Harbor.

The Dalton Highway was closed due to an avalanche between miles 239 and 247 on the 7th, while wind advisories were issued for the area the next day. Freezing rain again plagued driving in the Anchorage area on the 8th. A total of 8.0" of snow was reported at the Haines Customs on the 12th. Dense fog was reported in the Mat-Su areas on the 13th, and icy roads were prevalent again in the Anchorage area the next day.

High winds warnings were issued from Ketchikan to the Brooks Range on the 16th. More freezing rain was reported along the Seward Highway on the 20th. High winds were recorded in the Juneau area on the 20th, with gusts up to 40 mph in downtown Juneau. Winds up to 40 mph were recorded on the Prince of Wales Island on the 21st. An overflow was reported along the Dalton highway on the 21st, and the 26th the State moved to protect the highway from damage from the overflow. A total of 14.0" of snow was reported at Haines Custom station on the 22nd as heavy snow fell across the areas. By the end of the month, this station had measured a total of 71.3"; the greatest for any station in Alaska, and more than 20" above normal. The highest snow depth at Haines Custom station was 67" on the 23rd. The 23rd saw witness to the first sunrise in Barrow since November 18th.

High winds were again reported in the Southeast on the 26th. Wrangell had gusts up to 70 mph, and damage was reported. Seventy mph gusts were recorded in downtown Juneau and some trees and utilities poles were knocked down. Gusts up to 129 mph hit Sheep Mountain. Eaglecrest measured gusts up to 89 mph. Skagway topped out at 39 mph. Waves up to 32 feet were reported in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska. Heavy rain accompanied the storm, and 2.94" was measured at Snettisham Power Plant. Near Haines the total was over 2", while the Juneau Airport received 1.67", a new daily record. A number of other precipitation records were broken in the Northern Panhandle area. The Eaglecrest ski area was closed the next day as staff repaired the slopes after the storm. More freezing rain hit Anchorage in the 28th.

The month ended where it started with an avalanche closing the Klondike Highway on the 27, and it remained closed till the 29th.