Kotzebue has been seeing some rough weather lately, with the second big blizzard of the past two weeks winding down today. Twitter user Tundrabilly has been documenting the conditions.
3-4-23, noonish, Kotzebue, Alaska, -9 d Fah (-23 C), wind chill -41 d Fah (-41 C), wind speed E 38 mph (61.16 km/h, gusting to 48 mph (77.25 km/h). Didn't see anyone out . Winter's here perty hard. pic.twitter.com/kTburqpgNm— Tundrabilly ❄☃️🇺🇸 (@tammaq13) March 4, 2023
Here's a chart showing the frequency of blizzard conditions as a percent of all hourly ASOS observations in the last 25 years. February is peak blizzard season, and the climatological frequency doesn't drop off a whole lot in March. However, the percentage only peaks at about 1%, so a true blizzard is unusual weather even at this time of year.
The much lower frequency in January might be at least partly a statistical artifact, but it appears in both the first and second half of this 25-year period, so I'm inclined to think it is a real feature of the climate. Presumably the jet stream drops far enough south in January that strong storms are less common in Kotzebue; but this is a topic for further investigation.
If we exclude the visibility requirement of the blizzard definition, then the December and November frequencies jump up above the February and March frequencies, respectively. It seems that low visibility is more readily attainable in late winter, perhaps because there's much more snow lying on the ground throughout the region (available to be blown around), or perhaps because the air tends to be drier in late winter (making snow more powdery).