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1997-98 Alaskan polar cyclone season (Layten)

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1997-98 Alaskan polar cyclone season (Layten)
First storm formed November 7, 1997
Last storm dissipated February 5, 1998
Strongest storm Hector - 779 mbar, 235 mph (1-min sustained)
Polar depressions 17
Polar storms 14
Severe polar storms 11
Polar cyclones 7
Major polar cyclones (Cat 3+) 3
Total damages $0 (1997 USD)
Total fatalities None


Polar Storm Alonso

Polar storm
Duration November 7 – November 12
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

The origins of Alonso can be traced back to a trough of low pressure that developed on November 6 in the northern Pacific Ocean. Moving north under an ideal environment, it organised into the first polar depression of the season the next day, before turning northeast and becoming the first named polar storm on November 9. Alonso briefly turned to the east later that day, before interaction with an extratropical cyclone forced the system to the north and due north. Alonso made landfall in Alaska at peak intensity on November 11, and weakened to a polar depression whilst crossing over land.

After turning west and moving out over the Bering Sea, Alonso briefly reattained polar storm status, before weakening to a depression and turning extratropical soon after. 1 death was reported, along with $10 million in damages.

Polar Cyclone Blake

Category 2 polar cyclone
Duration November 15 – November 23
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  949 mbar (hPa)

The origins of Blake can be traced back to an extratropical low that formed over Oregon on November 14. Rapidly organising, it was declared the second polar depression of the season as it moved away from the coast on a northwesterly track. Situated in an ideal environment, the low became a polar storm the following day as it began a steady intensification trend, becoming a severe polar storm later the same day, and then the first polar cyclone the following day whilst paralleling the coast of British Columbia, where heavy rain and snow caused chaos during the storm's passage. Late on November 17, Blake became a category 2 cyclone, before weakening back to a category 1 the following day as shear began to increase over the system.

On November 20, Blake weakened to a severe polar storm as it turned towards the Alaskan island chain, before becoming a minimal polar cyclone again the following day. On November November 22, Blake weakened to a severe polar storm as it made landfall on the northern islands, before weakening to a polar storm as it entered the Bering Sea. On November 23, Blake weakened to a polar depression as it made landfall on mainland Alaska, before dissipating 6 hours later. The remains of the system continued to drop heavy snow for another 12 hours, before they dissipated completely under unfavourable conditions. 17 people were known to have been killed by the storm, with at least $700 million being done in damages.

Polar Depression 03K

Polar depression
Duration November 23 – November 25
Peak intensity 30 mph (45 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

The origins of 03K can be traced to an area of low pressure that moved off the coast of British Colombia on November 21. Moving to the west, it organised into a polar depression early on November 23, before moving to the northwest, making landfall in Alaska at peak intensity on November 25, before dissipating inland later that day.

Polar Cyclone Chelsey

Category 4 polar cyclone
Duration November 29 – December 7
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  914 mbar (hPa)

The origins of Chesley can be traced back to an area of disturbed weather that developed within a frontal zone on November 28. Quickly organising as it separated from this feature, it became a polar depression the following day, as it moved towards the north. After moving to the north-northeast into a more favourable environment, the depression was able to intensify into Polar Storm Chelsey, which steadily intensified under favourable conditions, reaching polar cyclone intensity December 1, and beginning to rapidly deepen, making landfall in the Alaskan islands as a category 4 cyclone, before turning west and hitting several of the islands. After this devastating series of landfalls, Chelsey turned back to th north, and out into the Bering Sea, where it began to finally weaken.

Polar Storm David

Polar storm
Duration December 5 – December 10
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)

Polar Cyclone Emily

Category 6 polar cyclone
Duration December 9 – December 14
Peak intensity 220 mph (350 km/h) (1-min)  817 mbar (hPa)

Severe Polar Storm Fernand

Severe polar storm
Duration December 11 – December 19
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)

Polar Storm Gladys

Polar storm
Duration December 15 – December 19
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  991 mbar (hPa)

Polar Depression 09K

Polar depression
Duration December 21 – December 27
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)

Polar Cyclone Harvey

Category 6 polar cyclone
Duration December 26 – January 7
Peak intensity 235 mph (380 km/h) (1-min)  779 mbar (hPa)

Polar storm Irena

Polar storm
Duration December 30 – January 3
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

Polar Depression 12K

Polar depression
Duration January 2 – January 2
Peak intensity 25 mph (35 km/h) (1-min)  1006 mbar (hPa)

Polar Cyclone Julius

Category 1 polar cyclone
Duration January 9 – January 15
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  969 mbar (hPa)

Severe Polar Storm Katie

Severe polar storm
Duration January 15 – January 22
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  982 mbar (hPa)

Polar Cyclone Larry

Category 1 polar cyclone
Duration January 21 – January 31
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  941 mbar (hPa)

Polar Storm Marcia

Polar storm
Duration January 25 – January 30
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

Polar Cyclone Norman

Category 1 polar cyclone
Duration January 30 – February 5
Peak intensity 80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  966 mbar (hPa)

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