How to Track the Huge Storm Bearing Down on Alaska

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Alaskans are awaiting the landfall of a storm that may end larger than any on record in the area. Imagine a blizzard with near hurricane-force winds. The storm is tracking for a direct strike on Nome. "Alaska west coast to be hit by one of the most severe Bering Sea storms on record," the National Weather Service wrote in a special message. "A powerful and extremely dangerous storm of near record or record magnitude is bearing down on the west coast of Alaska."

The message concluded with a remarkably ominous tone. "This will be an extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm of an epic magnitude rarely experienced. All people in the area should take precautions to safeguard their lives and property." The storm looks so bad that the National Weather Service had to reach back to a storm that hit in November of 1974.

If you're not an avid arctic-storm watcher, it's hard to know where to turn for information about the storm's progress. Here's a quick guide to keeping up with the situation.

  • The National Weather Service is obviously indispensable, but their site is difficult to navigate. This is the main page that you want to keep an eye on.
  • The Department of Homeland Security also puts out a situation report on Alaska each day, which you can read here.
  • Local and national news organizations are tracking the storm. Try the Fairbanks @newsminer, the Fairbanks paper, which has been keeping up a steady stream of tweets. The Alaska Dispatch is another excellent local news outlet. KTUU is a good Anchorage television station to keep an eye on. And of course, the Anchorage Daily News is a standby.
  • Newsminer also provides an excellent list of webcams through which you can watch the storm make landfall.
  • The Twitter hashtag appears to be #AKstorm, though I've seen several variations. If you'd like a more curated feed of tweets, the Weather Channel put together a list of 13 people and news outlets to watch.
  • FEMA is watching the situation, too.
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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