Northwest Alaska faces heavy severe weather warnings

first_imgBlizzard and severe weather warnings remain in effect for communities on the northwest coast of Alaska as a winter storm continues to bring wind, heavy snow and in some cases rain.Listen NowThe National Weather Service said visibility in Nome was reduced to near zero at times because of blowing snow.Southwest winds Friday are predicted to increase to 25 to 40 mph with gusts to 60 with four more inches of snow.Similar forecasts were issued for Norton Sound, Seward Peninsula, Lower Yukon and Middle Yukon communities.The storm also hit the Fairbanks area hard, where there’s been more than a foot of accumulation since Thursday afternoon. National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg says there will be a lull in the storm during the day today.”I would take advantage, as soon as you can today, to try to move some of the snow because you’ll be moving even more tomorrow,” Berg said.Berg said a second storm wave is forecast to begin tonight.“Potentially, four to seven more inches of snow, overnight tonight,” Berg said. “However, with that will be winds potentially gusting to 50 mph over the hill tops, and possibly 35 to 40 mph here in town. And there is a really high potential right now for blown-down trees and potential power outages overnight tonight.”Berg said the long range forecast calls for a continued chance of snow.”Potentially, we could see, over the next week or so, at least another foot of snow,” Berg said.Berg notes that the 10.4 inches of snow tallied at Fairbanks Airport yesterday nearly doubled the previous daily record for December 29th, adding that Fairbanks has erased this season’s snow deficit and is now near normal for this time of year.The National Weather Service says a blizzard warning is in effect into Saturday afternoon for Kotzebue and villages on St. Lawrence Island and along the Bering Strait.The warning also includes Wainwright, Atqasuk, Point Lay and Cape Lisburne. NWS reports visibility will be near zero at times with the potential for whiteout conditions making travel difficult. Southwest winds of 35 to 45 mph are predicted, gusting to 55 mph. Winds should decrease by Saturday afternoon.last_img

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