High winds prompt a number of warnings

Clearing in southcentral Saturday
Clearing in southcentral Saturday
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:13 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A large storm is spinning over the northern Gulf of Alaska, and it is packing a winter punch of strong winds, rain and snow.

Winter storm warnings are out for the Interior in anticipation of the coming snow and wind. West Coast communities are under a wind chill advisory for wind chills down to 55 below, a result of the colder temperatures and winds creating dangerous conditions.

In Southeast Alaska, winds have blasted parts of the region, with Juneau seeing a 66 mph gust and in Sitka a blast of wind hit 68 mph. A high wind warning is in effect for both locations going into the weekend.

Anchorage saw snow Friday, with a chance of light snow lingering into Saturday morning. But here is some good news — Southcentral will get a break from the snow and rain tomorrow. Sunshine will return and that may have many residents wanting to get out and enjoy the day.

Be aware of avalanche danger, which is listed as considerable by the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information center. The center released a special bulletin to say that danger in the mountains of Turnagain Pass, Western Chugach and Kenai mountains exists.

They caution that human-triggered avalanches are likely on slopes at 30 degrees or higher.

“Despite clearing skies and nicer weather, the snowpack is very unstable. Dangerous avalanches could be triggered by people in the backcountry,” according to experts.

The danger covers the weekend, Jan. 21 from 6 am to Jan. 22 at 6 pm.

Hot spot: Sitka with 51 degrees.  Cold spot: Nome with 27 below zero.