Strong winds sweep through Interior

High winds swept across the Interior late yesterday, causing downed trees and numerous power outages. Golden Valley Electric Association crews worked overnight to make repairs affecting hundreds of customers from Fairbanks to Delta Junction. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Brader attributed the high winds to a deep low pressure system in northwest Alaska that created a strong pressure gradient across the state Sunday.

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”At the airport, the peak gust we had was 36 miles an hour,” Brader said. “We had a resident just west of the university who called in last night and said that she had a gust of 47 miles an hour on her anemometer. And there were numerous reports of trees that blew over.”

Brader said a cold front followed last night, bringing rain and continued strong westerly winds, which pushed smoke from wildfires to the west into the region.

”You know, this is quite a strong storm. We have high surf advisories for most of the west coast and Arctic coast of Alaska. This is really more of a fall-type storm, not one we would expect in July.”

Brader said conditions are forecast to begin clearing, with cooling temperatures late today as the cold front exits. He adds that more summer like weather is expected to return later in the week.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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