Back-to-back storms deliver high winds, snow and freezing rain to Alaska this week
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A series of storms will move across Alaska this week delivering wind, snow and rain to much of the state. A number of National Weather Service warnings and advisories are already in effect for multiple storms.
The storm that brought snow and rain to Southcentral Sunday into Monday is bringing the same to Southeast, prompting Winter Weather Advisories near Yakutat and Haines. Yakutat and surrounding areas picked up around 5 inches of snow Monday before temperatures warmed and rain mixed in. Haines was also hit with snow, rain, and wind Monday.
This storm will continue to move east, while another storm is already moving into western Alaska, set to deliver high winds and a combination of heavy snow and freezing rain Tuesday and Wednesday.
The winds are already picking up through the Aleutians and into the Pribilof islands where gusts of 55-65 mph were recorded Monday. A high wind warning remains in effect until 5 a.m. Tuesday for the central Aleutians and until 9 a.m. Tuesday for the eastern Aleutians and Pribilof Islands for south winds of 55 to 65 mph and gusts up to 85 mph.
The Yukon Delta will be the first to see the impacts from the freezing rain and snow where a winter weather advisory is in effect until 3 a.m. Tuesday. This area will see 1 to 3 inches of snow with wind gusts to 50 mph. The Lower Yukon Valley is also under the advisory, extending from 12 a.m. Tuesday until 9 p.m. Wednesday for 2 to 4 inches of snow combined with freezing rain.
Further north, even heavier snow and strong winds are expected, prompting winter storm warnings. The warning is already in effect for St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait coast. It continues until 9 p.m. Tuesday. This area should expect wind gusts to 60 mph along with freezing rain and 2 to 5 inches of snow. Isolated areas could see up to 11 inches of snow The eastern Norton Sound and Nulato Hills are under the warning from 1 a.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday. 4 to 8 inches of snow are expected here with gusts to 60 mph. Visibility will likely be reduced to less than a quarter of a mile at times.
The warning begins at midnight Monday night and continues through Wednesday at 6 a.m. for the Northern and Interior Seward peninsula. This area will see 4 to 8 inches of snow with up to 18 inches along the Kougarok Road combined with gusts to 50 mph.
The lower Kobuk and Noatak valleys are also under a winter storm warning for 4 to 8 inches of snow and wind gusts to 45 mph from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The Southern Seward peninsula coast will see 9 to 13 inches of snow mixed with rain at times and gusts to 60 mph. The warning is in effect for this area from Tuesday at 12 a.m. through Wednesday at 6 a.m. The Western Arctic Coast will see less snow, but travel conditions will become poor as wind gusts to 45 mph cause blowing and drifting snow. A winter weather advisory is in effect from noon Tuesday to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The storm won’t reach the lower Koyukuk and Middle Yukon Valleys until late Tuesday, but this area needs to prepare for 5 to 10 inches of snow, freezing rain, and wind gusts to 35 mph. A winter storm watch is in effect from late Tuesday through Thursday.
The biggest impacts for the Chukchi Sea Coast, Baldwin Peninsula, and Selawik Valley will be from high winds. These areas are under blizzard warnings for wind gusts to 55 mph causing whiteout conditions.
The warning is in effect along the Chukchi Sea Coast from 3 a.m. Tuesday to 12 a.m. Wednesday where 2 to 5 inches of snow is likely.
The Baldwin Peninsula and Selawik Valley are under the warning from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 12 a.m. Wednesday for 1 to 3 inches of snow combined with the high winds. The biggest impact Tuesday for the Alaska range will be from high winds where downed trees and power lines are possible and travel will become difficult. A high wind warning in effect for the upper Kuskokwim Valley near the Alaska Range from 9 p.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday for south winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts to 70 mph.
Further east, Denali is under the warning from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday for south winds of 30 to 40 mph and gusts to 75 mph.
The Richardson Highway, south of Delta Junction will also be impacted by high winds. The warning is in effect from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday for southeast winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 70 mph. The Eastern Alaska range is also under a high wind warning from 1 a.m. to 6 pm Wednesday for south winds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 80 mph.
This storm will deliver snow, rain and wind to southcentral starting Wednesday. The Anchorage hillside and Turnagain Arm are under a high wind watch Wednesday when east winds of 40-60 mph and gusts to 80 mph are possible.
The coastal areas of Southcentral will see mostly rain with this storm, while snow is likely in Anchorage and the valley starting Wednesday afternoon. Once this storm wraps up another will move in Friday, followed by a fourth storm Saturday and a fifth on Monday.
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