Strong winds blow into Anchorage and much of Southcentral Alaska

Forecasters warned of strong, gusty winds increasing into Tuesday evening, making for potentially hazardous walking and driving conditions in Anchorage and around Southcentral Alaska.

Gusty southeast winds were expected to peak through the afternoon and evening from the Kenai Peninsula to Anchorage, the Matanuska Valley, and the southern to western Susitna Valley, according to an advisory issued early Tuesday.

Peak wind gusts in the Anchorage Bowl were forecast to reach 25 to 35 mph, with higher winds near the mountains and gusts from 55 to 70 mph along the Anchorage Hillside, forecasters said. Winds on the southern Kenai Peninsula were expected to gust from 30 to 50 mph, with lower gusts in other areas.

The Matanuska Valley was forecast to see gusts from 30 to 45 mph with the strongest winds along the Knik River Valley, according to the statement.

The wind comes on the heels of a burst of milder temperatures and rain that refroze on paved surfaces, making for icy conditions into this week.

“The wind could cause hazardous conditions when walking or driving on ice-covered surfaces, so use caution when getting out and about today,” the weather service warned.

A gauge at Potter Marsh registered a 60-knot gust on Tuesday afternoon and a gust of almost 40 knots was recorded at the agency’s Sand Lake headquarters, according to meteorologist Christian Landry. A gust of 68 mph was recorded at Arctic Valley Ski Area on Tuesday evening.


Winds were expected to diminish into Wednesday, when snow returns to the forecast through the weekend.

The weather service also issued an advisory for Turnagain Pass for snow and gusting winds. The advisory calls for up to 16 inches of snow to fall, starting Tuesday night and lasting through much of Thursday, with the heaviest snow expected Wednesday afternoon. Drivers should also expect winds gusting up to 35 mph, the advisory said.