Weather service warns of heavy rainfall on eastern Peninsula, Sound

thanlon@adn.comJanuary 22, 2014 

UPDATE 1:10 PM WEDNESDAY:

A pattern of wet weather and mild temperatures is expected to stick around the Prince William Sound region and the southern and eastern Kenai Peninsula until Friday, according to special weather statement from the National Weather Service.

Rainfall may total 3 to 6 inches along the eastern Kenai and 5 to 8 inches along the north Gulf Coast from Wednesday to Friday afternoon, the weather service said.

The weather service warned residents of increased ponding of water and minor localized flooding.  

ORIGINAL STORY:

Another day, another dose of unseasonably warm temperatures in Southcentral Alaska that closed the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood and prompted avalanche advisories Wednesday.

While the eastern United States sits under a cold spell and snowstorm, the National Weather Service predicts temperatures in the upper 30s to mid-40s in Anchorage and the lower to mid-40s on the Kenai Peninsula.

If temperatures hovered around what the weather service deems "normal" for a Jan. 22, it would be between 11 and 23 degrees in Anchorage.

But the days since Jan. 14 have not been normal. Freezing and thawing have iced over side streets in Anchorage.

Employees at Alyeska continue to monitor the conditions while the mountain remains closed, according to a post on the resort's Facebook page. The Sitzmark Bar & Grill and Hotel Alyeska are open.

In the Turnagain Pass backcountry, rain and high temperatures have destabilized the snowpack, said the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

The center warned of "considerable" avalanche danger above and below the tree line Wednesday. Below the tree line, wet and heavy snow sits on top of weaker, drier snow. Above tree line, snow continues to fall, burying weak layers and creating the potential "for large and dangerous avalanches," the advisory said.

The center said people should avoid terrain steeper than 35 degrees.

 

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.

 

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