High wind warning in effect for Anchorage, Turnagain Arm

Mike Dunham

Update, 2 p.m..: High wind warnings remain in effect for areas of southcentral Alaska starting Saturday night, including Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm.

Gusts up to 65 mph are possible in the Anchorage Bowl and lower Hillside, and gusts to 110 mph are possible on the Upper Hillside and Turnagain Arm, the National Weather Service said.

Among the warnings and advisories in effect:

A high wind warning for Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday.

A high wind warning for western Prince William Sound and the western Kenai Peninsula from 10 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. This includes Girdwood, Whittier and Seward.

• A flood watch is in effect for western Prince William Sound and the Seward area, with "widespread areas of 4 to 7 inches of rainfall with some areas in the mountains showing amounts greater than 9 inches for the 24 hour period ending Sunday evening."

A high wind warning for Alaska Range passes, including the Parks Highway though the Nenana River canyon from midnight to 6 p.m. Sunday, with gusts to 75 mph.

All current warnings, watches and advisories here.

- David Hulen


Original story:

The National Weather Service says wind gusts as high as 110 miles per hour could hit the higher elevations in Anchorage this weekend and has added flood warnings for communities on Turnagain Arm and Prince William Sound.

As of Friday afternoon, the forecast called for winds along Turnagain Arm and Upper Hillside to be steady at 10-25 miles per hour with gusts as high as 45 miles per hour by Friday night.

Winds are predicted to increase throughout Saturday, reaching between 35 and 50 miles per hour for most of Anchorage by Saturday night, with possible gusts of 65 miles per hour.

Gusts in Upper Hillside and along Turnagain Arm from Potter Marsh to Bird Creek may reach 110 miles per hour and 85 miles per hour in Girdwood and Portage.

Conditions will persist through Sunday, with southeast winds from 65 to 80 miles an hour on the Hillside and gusts continuing to clock 110 miles per hour. Hillside winds will decrease to between 45 and 60 miles an hour, forecasters say, but not until after midnight.

The Weather Service posted a map showing anticipated wind gusts at various places around town on its Facebook page.

In the Mat-Su area, winds are predicted to be between 25 and 40 miles per hour with 60 mile per hour gusts on Saturday night and Sunday.

Heavy rain is expected to accompany the winds, which could present additional problems along the western portion of Prince William Sound and the head of Turnagain Arm. A flood watch is in effect for the area, including Seward, Whittier, Girdwood and Moose Pass, from Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

National Weather Service models show as much as 7 inches of rainfall over a widespread region during a 24 hour period, with more than 9 in some areas. This can cause streams and rivers to rise "very rapidly."

If the rainfall does not exceed the predicted amount, flooding will be minor, though it may create drainage problems in settled areas. If there is more rainfall than expected, stream capacity could be exceeded more quickly than has been the case during past flood events and create major flooding.

Residents of at-risk areas are advised to closely monitor conditions. Up to date weather warnings, watches and advisories are posted here.

As with last week's storm, trees may be blown over and power lost. The weather service is also warning of "wind driven projectiles" and says that travel may be difficult.

Reach Mike Dunham at mdunham@adn.com or 257-4332.

Current Alaska weather warnings
Anchorage Daily News