High winds up to 80 mph continue for parts of the Valley

Wasilla will see the highest winds of the day, as winds shift more east-northeast
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 8:10 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For well over 24 hours now, sustained gusts have been over 60 mph for parts of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and it shows no signs of letting down.

At times, hurricane force wind gusts will still occur across the Valley, although the wind axis is shifting more towards Wasilla and out of Palmer. This comes as the winds are shifting more out of the east-northeast, as opposed to the northeast. With such high winds, blowing debris, power outages, difficulty traveling, high snow drifts and reduced visibility will continue to remain a concern. In areas where winds will be the strongest, additional damage is likely.

The high wind warning for the Valley remains in place through 6 p.m. Monday evening, with winds expected to gradually subside into the late afternoon and early evening hours. Although winds are beginning a gradual decreasing trend, even after the high wind warning expires, it will still be windy.

An additional threat with the high winds will be dangerous wind chills. Wind chill readings through the day will routinely be minus-10 to minus-30 degrees, with the Copper River Basin seeing even lower wind chill readings. It’s advised if you don’t have to head outside today that you stay in, as travel will be exceptionally difficult.

While winds will remain the highest in the Valley, Anchorage has already seen our maximum wind event. While some gusty conditions will still be with us through the day, the activity has greatly decreased and that trend will continue through the day. The only exception will be occasional gusty winds as they bend into west Anchorage.

As the winds come to an end, the focus shifts to bitter cold arctic air. The incoming cold will be the coldest stretch we’ve seen all season long, with overnight lows falling anywhere from zero to minus-20 across Southcentral. This comes as an area of high pressure anchors itself in across the state, leading to quiet, cold and sunny weather.

This bitter cold will also affect Southeast, where near-record cold looks possible in the coming days. For some areas of Southeast, this will be the coldest temperatures seen in nearly two decades.

Bundle up and stay safe!

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