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Another fall storm expected to bring wind, rain, possible flooding to Southcentral Alaska

Craig Medred
Ned Rozell photo

Look out, Southcentral Alaska: It's the invasion of the "tropical air."

Sure, such air brings warm temperatures this time of year. Unfortunately, that isn't all it brings.

The National Weather Service is warning of possible flooding on the Kenai Peninsula and high winds on the Anchorage Hillside and along Turnagain Arm as the latest, powerful, low-pressure storm system born in the lower latitudes of globe comes storming north to slam into the underbelly of the 49th state.

The NWS called for "possible gusts to 80 mph" on Anchorage's upper Hillside and along Turnagain Arm. The buffeting was expected to ease a bit on Sunday afternoon and then pick up again Sunday evening into Monday.

The agency said to expect sustained winds of 55 to 70 mph in those areas. That's "violent storm" territory, just below hurricane force at 74 mph.

In the rest of the Anchorage Bowl, the wind was expected to be a little more manageable, in the area of 15-30 mph. High winds in the Anchorage area are likely to continue into early this week, while to the east on the Kenai Peninsula it gets wet -- very wet.

The Weather Service posted flood watches for the east side of the Kenai starting Sunday evening and continuing into Monday afternoon, thanks to "copious tropical moisture" expected to accompany the current storm.

"Heavy rainfall is likely with local amounts in excess of 5 inches," the agency reported Saturday evening. "This, in turn, may lead to considerable rises of area rivers and streams to flood state by Sunday evening. This includes the Resurrection River near Seward," where flooding is getting to be an almost normal fall event.

Glacier Creek in Girdwood could also rise dramatically as could the rivers draining the Portage area. The heaviest precipitation was expected to come Sunday morning. Get out the galoshes.

Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com