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Ask a Climatologist: An Alaska-sized storm sets a record

The Dec. 31, 2020 “bomb” cyclone over Shemya Island. (
The Dec. 31, 2020 “bomb” cyclone over Shemya Island. (

By Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage–January 13, 2021

A massive storm way out in the Aleutian Islands at the end of the year set a record for the lowest atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the North Pacific… but you’ve probably never heard of it.

That’s because the 60-foot seas and 80 mile per hour winds were hundreds of miles from most Alaskans.

But what does it actually mean for there to be an area of extreme low pressure?

National Weather Service climate researcher Brian Brettschneider spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove to explain.

Listen here: