ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – An area of low pressure in southwest Alaska continues to strengthen, bringing widespread rain and winds to much of the state.
While the heaviest rains will remain confined to coastal areas of south-central and western Alaska, it’s the winds that will be a problem for much of the state. A high surf advisory was issued through noon Wednesday for much of the southwest, while the eastern Alaska Range remains under a windy advisory through Monday evening. The depression continues to deepen, leading to increased winds throughout the day.
The strongest winds will likely remain near Denali, where gusts up to 70 mph cannot be ruled out. Even here in the south-central, winds will be a problem throughout the day. For much of the region, winds will be between 30 and 50 mph, with Anchorage Hillside and Turnagain Arm being the biggest wind threats.
Coastal regions of southwestern Alaska will see a triple impact from this low pressure area. Not only will rain and winds be a problem, but high surf and coastal erosion will persist for the next 48 hours. Storm surge from this system will likely be 1 to 3 feet above high tide, with offshore waves up to 10 feet high. A combination of the two will cause some coastal erosion over the next 36-48 hours. You will want to stay away from the southwest coastal regions during this time until the swells and winds subside.
The depression itself will move up the west coast over the next few days, possibly moving over the Arctic Ocean by the middle of the week. This will keep windy conditions in the forecast for much of Western Alaska and the North Slope through at least the middle to end of the work week. Despite the already wet weather we’ve been experiencing for the past two weeks, the current rain will continue to help ease drought conditions across the rest of the state.
As the rain ends from south to north later in the day, we will see clearer skies return to the southern half of the state. The high pressure will build briefly across the Aleutians and the Bering Sea, with its reach extending south-central. This will open the door for the sun to stay with us through at least Thursday, before the clouds return to the area. With sun and drier conditions in the forecast, highs will begin to climb in the upper 60s and lower 70s.
Get out and enjoy, as clouds and a chance of rain return in the weekend.
Have a wonderful Monday!
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