Valdez, Alaska, is among the snowiest places in the US, receiving some 300 inches of snow per year, or a little less than an inch per day on average. But even 10 inches of snow falling in a single hour is unprecedented there. Well, it was until Wednesday. In Thompson Pass, a gap in the Chugach Mountains northeast of town, a record 10 inches of snow fell in 60 minutes, followed by another 5 inches in 30 minutes. Weather historian Christopher Burt of Weather Underground says it's one of the most intense snowfalls on record, just behind the 12 inches of snow that fell on Copenhagen, NY, in a single hour on Dec. 2, 1966, per the Washington Post.
The 15 inches to hit the Thompson Pass was only part of the storm's total: Over 12 hours, 40 inches of snow accumulated in the area. Over five days, more than six feet of snow has fallen, with another two feet expected through Friday, reports Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. No strangers to snow, Valdez's 4,000 residents were temporarily trapped when a 200-foot-long avalanche buried the only road in and out of town under 20 feet of snow Wednesday, but the Alaska Department of Transportation says the road was cleared Thursday evening, per the Anchorage Daily News. (Read more Alaska stories.)