Heavy rain for Southcentral Alaska, flood watches for Southeast

3 to 5 inches of rain is possible for parts of the Panhandle through Friday
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 7:32 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - From sunshine to rainy conditions, the wet weather has made a return across the Gulf Coast region. An area of low pressure to our west with strong southwesterly flow is leading to an atmospheric river that will build from Southcentral Alaska into Southeast Alaska over the next 24 hours.

Rain was slow to arrive, but much of Southcentral is already dealing with light to moderate rain. Heavier rain has already been reported through parts of Cook Inlet as well as Western Prince William Sound, where over half an inch of rain has already fallen.

It’s shaping up to be a wet day across Southcentral, with many areas seeing half an inch to nearly 2 inches of rain. The heaviest will fall through Prince William Sound, where winds up to 35 mph look possible through the day. While some dry time can be expected into the afternoon hours, expect a large portion of today to remain on the dry side. We’ll begin to see the rain taper off through Thursday, as the core of the rain shifts into the Panhandle.

The Northern Inner Channels down to Juneau remain under a flood watch through Friday, as the atmospheric river is set to bring several inches of rain to the region. On average, we’ll see 2 to 4 inches of rain for the majority of the region, but it’s likely that we could see some locations exceed 5 inches with this system. With already high waters, it’s important to note that any excess runoff will lead to some flooding potential. If you live in flood-prone locations, you’ll want to take the necessary precautions over the next few days. With the incoming rain, winds will also be an issue for Southeast with many locations seeing winds in the 20 to 40 mph range over the next 24 to 48 hours.

For both Southcentral and Southeast, things are shaping up to be on the drier side as we welcome in the start of autumn. While rain will still be falling for Southeast, the system will be winding down, with drier weather looking likely for the weekend. Both regions will see peeks of sunshine return into the weekend, with daily highs warming into the low- to mid-50s. While Southcentral will largely stay on the drier side, Southeast will still hold onto some isolated to scattered showers through next week.

Elsewhere across the state, cooler weather looks to lead to some areas of wintry mix along the North Slope. For areas that manage to see it through today and tomorrow, only a trace amount of accumulation is likely.

We’ll close out this month with a large portion of the state remaining at or below seasonal values. The warmest location, relative to normal, will be along the Beaufort Sea Coast, where temperatures could remain in the 40s for the next week.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!