Higher temperatures and more rain than usual will increase the chance of downed power lines and will delay the beginning of consistent snowfall in Anchorage by a week, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The jet stream is taking an unusual bend to the west and pushing more warm air and moisture from south to north, which will increase temperatures in Anchorage and Fairbanks by 10 degrees, said Dave Snider, National Weather Service meteorologist.
He said the higher temperatures are more noticeable because they go against the normal progression toward lower temperatures in October as the days get shorter.
More peculiar, he said, is the amount of rain Anchorage is getting even considering that it is the wettest season.
He said the city has had a half-inch more rain so far this month than usual.
Since September 1, he said, Anchorage has had 7.82 inches of rainfall, which is 3.36 inches more than usual.
"It's been a pretty soggy period," Snider said.
He said the rain not only delays the ice and snow from forming in town, but also makes soil softer and the ground not as cold as normal, which could loosen the stability of trees and power lines.
He said the real risk of power outages and falling trees because of loose soil comes with high winds.
The National Weather Service has put a high wind advisory on Turnagain Arm and the Hillside from 8 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday.
The advisory says winds will range from 45 mph to 65 mph with gusts up to 75 mph, and winds will peak at about midnight.
By BENJAMIN S. BRASCH