The National Weather Service canceled out Kodiak’s blizzard warning, but that doesn’t mean the snow is letting up completely. NOAA meteorologist Michael Kutz said Kodiak is still expecting another couple inches Wednesday night, and lingering flurries into Friday.
As for Tuesday night’s blizzard? Kutz says, based on data from weather spotters positioned around town, Kodiak received 11 inches of snow overnight. In the 24 hour period spanning Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon, Kutz says it was twice that.
“Almost 23 inches in 24 hours,” he said. “Most of the snow has been holding at that 23 inch level, 22-23 inches. Snowdrifts, of course, have been getting up three, four or five feet.”
Kodiak residents waking up to shovel their driveways were also met with a string of notifications about various school and business closures. All schools, plus Kodiak College, shut down for a snow day. Borough offices were also closed, along with the senior center, some health clinics and Kodiak Area Native Association.
Kutz says they dropped the blizzard warning shortly after noon on Wednesday, once winds slowed down and visibility improved. Even so, around 3 p.m. Alaska Airlines announced no flights would be coming or going from Kodiak Airport for the rest of the day.
Climatologists have seen Alaska’s winters becoming milder over the decades with climate change on the rise. This year’s snowy winter has seemed rather unusual compared to the last five or ten years, but for longtime Kodiak residents, it’s actually not that out of the ordinary.
Gina Peru-Friccero is a retired school district employee who’s lived in Kodiak for almost her entire life.
“This weather is like the way it used to be, back in the day.” she said. “I mean, this would have been considered normal. But now it seems like it’s abnormal. So that tells you how much it’s changed.
“I think the last winter that my kids used to — we have a hill here at our house and they would go out and slide the hill in their sleds. I think the last winter they did that was probably about like 2009 or 10. That’s how long it’s been since I remember seeing any significant snow.”
Growing up in the Aleutian Homes neighborhood in the 1960’s, she remembers having to tunnel through snowdrifts to get to school.
“I don’t remember much rain ever in the winter. I just remember snow. And I remember trick-or-treating in the snow and hunting Easter eggs in the snow,” she laughed.
With more snow on the way, driving will remain hazardous. Kodiak’s Public Works Department reminds residents to be careful with shoveling. Don’t pile snow within 15 feet of an intersection, leave fire hydrants and power poles clear, and move vehicles out of the path of snow plows.