Powerful windstorm threatening south-central Alaska
The strong low pressure system is strengthening in the western Gulf of Alaska and over the Aleutian Islands. A rare and powerful storm system is set to slam into south-central Alaska this weekend.
The low flows over water so there will be no interaction with land in the form of friction to slow the strong winds down. The system will bring heavy rain and very strong winds to south-central Alaska, including Turnagain Arm, the Hillside, Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. Expected storm total rainfall as high as 2 inches will create flooding concerns, especially southeast of Anchorage and closest to the coast where the push of moisture will be strongest. The inlet location of Turnagain Arm will create a funneling effect of sorts and bring locally higher wind gusts to that region.
The strongest winds will develop initially over the Upper Hillside and Turnagain Arm Saturday evening... and spread to the lower hillside and east Anchorage during the overnight hours Saturday night. Strong winds then will spread to the rest of the Anchorage Bowl as a weather front moves through the region. Winds will begin to diminish after midnight Sunday into Monday.
Over the Alaska Range and surrounding terrain, a High Wind Watch is in effect from Sunday morning through Sunday evening. This includes the Deltana and Tanana Flats, Denali area, and the Upper Kuskokwim Valley.
Strong southerly winds associated with this system will pull plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Alaska. Widespread strong winds could knock down trees and power lines and create significant property damage. Additional surges of moisture associated with weaker storm systems will keep much of south-central Alaska breezy and wet possibly until Thursday according to AccuWeather.