By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
9 November 2014
(AccuWeather.com) – A powerful storm has moved into the Bering Sea and has become the most intense storm to ever impact the region.
The former Super Typhoon Nuri has tracked northward into the Bering Sea, located in between Alaska and Russia, and has lost all tropical characteristics.
The system has undergone rapid intensification, producing howling winds as the central pressure plummets to near record levels.
On Friday night, the Ocean Prediction Center analyzed the central area of low pressure to be 924 millibars.
This means that the storm has become the most powerful storm to ever move over the Bering Sea in recorded history in terms of central pressure.
Previous to this storm, the old record stood at 925 millibars from a powerful storm that moved over the Bering Sea on Oct. 25, 1977.
To put this in perspective, the lowest pressure recorded in Hurricane Sandy was 940 millibars. [more]
By Christopher C. Burt
8 November 2014
(wunderground.com) – One of the most powerful extra-tropical storms ever to pass through the Bering Sea reportedly attained a central pressure as low as 924 mb (27.29”) on Friday night/Saturday morning local time. This may rank as the lowest pressure ever ‘analyzed’ (estimated) in the Pacific Basin from an extra-tropical storm system.
Although this may be the lowest pressure ever mapped in the Bering Sea, it is likely that the storm of October 25, 1977 was considerably stronger. An actual measured barometric pressure level (by a ship docked at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island in the Aleutians) of 925 mb (29.31”) during that storm would tend to indicate that, at some point, during that storm’s life cycle its central pressure was probably lower than the 925 mb figure measured and thus probably lower than the 924 mb estimate for the current storm.
As Steve Gregory pointed out to me this morning (Saturday), the winds and significant wave heights during the 1977 cyclone were considerably more impressive than those observed (so far) from the current system. The highest significant wave heights reported by a ship or buoy in the region have been 26’ (compared to over 50’ during the 1977 storm) and the top wind speed so far measured on land has been recorded at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island (western Aleutians) with a gust to 97 mph and sustained at 73 mph. This is well short of the 130 mph wind gust measured at Adak Island during the 1977 storm. Of course, unlike in 1977, this storm has remained well out to sea and much further west than was the case in 1977, so the worst of its affects will probably go more or less unrecorded.
Amazingly, it was exactly on this date in 2011 that another powerful cyclone struck the Aleutian Islands (with a central pressure of 943 mb/27.85”) and prompted me to write this blog dated November 8, 2011. For those interested, I have reproduced the portion of that blog below dealing with the October 25, 1977 storm (and other past Alaskan storms). Also, for a general overview of the lowest barometric pressures ever observed on Earth (both tropical and extra-tropical), see this post. [more]