Early season storm will bring snow and high surf to northern Alaska

Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 9:59 AM AKDT
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An early season storm developing over the Siberian Arctic will bring cold, wet and windy conditions to the north and northwest areas of the state.

As the storm moves through, snow will fall in the Brooks Range. It will begin Friday in the western mountains. And it will move to the eastern passes by Sunday. Some passes in the Brooks Range could see 6 inches, or more, of snow.

Inland areas north of the range should also expect snow – moving from west to east starting Friday and ending Sunday. Coastal areas are expected to see rain, not snow, during this storm.

The National Weather Service recommends that anyone planning travel to the Brooks Range, or has outdoor activities in the area, should be prepared for winter weather conditions. Computer models are still showing differences in storm track and snow totals. They will continue to monitor the situation, through the weekend.

High Surf

This same storm is likely to bring high surf and strong winds to the northwest coastal areas.

Strong north winds, between 25 and 40 mph, will pick up Friday morning, and continue through the weekend. These persistent winds will create high seas, which are expected to reach 10 to 12 feet in the Chukchi Sea, and 6 to 8 feet in outer Kotzebue Sound, according to the NWS.

The High Surf Advisory goes into effect at 4 a.m. Friday for the Chukchi Sea Coast. The National Weather Service says “beach erosion on the north side of the spit is likely, which may impact the north end of the runway.”

The High Surf Advisory for St. Lawrence Island goes into effect at 4 p.m. Friday. North winds, 25 to 40 mph, will develop Friday morning. By Saturday morning, they are expected to increase to 35 to 40 mph, creating high surf on the north side of the island.

The NWS says beach erosion is expect in Savoonga, along the road to the dump, “as well as the boat landing and whaling area.” Minor beach erosion is possible in Gambell.