The season’s first serious fall storm is descending on Southcentral Alaska, bringing rain and strong winds to the Gulf of Alaska all the way up to the Mat-Su Borough.
Eddie Zingone is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and says the storm will “barrel through” the region overnight.
“Right now it’s looking like winds in the 75-80 mile hour range up in the Turnigan Arm and upper Hillside,” Zingone said. “Maybe in the 50-60 mile an hour range in the lower Hillside, and then 35-45 are possible over the rest of Anchorage.”
These are the strongest winds in the area since last winter. Zingone said the arrival of a storm this size at the start of September is normal. And in fact, this one falls within a day of a destructive storm five years ago that toppled trees and knocked out power across Anchorage, closing schools, offices, and roads. Zingone said with leaves still on trees there’s the risk of power-lines being damaged, but with heavy winds this time of year the biggest safety concern is a lack of preparation.
“We are still very much in summer-time mode here Southcentral Alaska, and we’ve got the lawn-chairs are out and there’s garden plants growing, and things can get damaged that would normally be covered in snow or put away during the winter-time,” Zingone said.
The fast-moving storm is not expected to cause any significant flooding.
Areas along the northern Gulf of Alaska and eastern edge of the Kenai Peninsula are expected to start seeing the first strong effects of the storm overnight. The system is forecast to move northwest, tapering off throughout Wednesday morning.