Strong, warm winds are expected to bring rain to Southcentral Alaska and potentially melt some of the recent snowfall, meteorologists said.
Temperatures are expected to rise Sunday until Tuesday before dropping again to create a slick, icy glare on roadways, said National Weather Service meteorologist Pam Szatanek.
Anchorage, Szatanek said, will likely only see about a tenth of an inch of rain. Paired with the high temperatures, it could still melt some of the snow left behind from last week.
How much of the snow that will melt is “the million dollar question,” Szatanek said.
Portions of the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage are expected to see high winds early Monday and throughout the day, according to an online alert issued by the weather service. Southeast winds are expected to hit 45 to 65 mph through the Turnagain Arm and higher elevation areas in Anchorage, Eagle River, Indian and Eklutna, though gusts up to 90 mph are possible.
“Of course we’re always concerned about trees or tree branches coming down,” Szatanek said. “And there could be power outages.”
The worst of the storm is expected to hit near Seward and Prince William Sound Sunday night and Monday, Szatanek said. The mountains will shelter Anchorage from the brunt of the storm, she said.
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a super soaker for Anchorage,” she said.
The Mat-Su borough is expected to see weather similar to Anchorage during the next few days. Temperatures will likely be in the 30′s Tuesday before dropping below freezing that evening. Szatanek said driving will be dangerous as the temperature drops because the melted snow and rain will freeze over and create icy roads.
“It’s going to be treacherous driving, especially if you don’t have studs on your tires,” Szatanek said.
Szatanek said the southeastern winds are part of a system blowing in from the North Pacific that will bring warmer weather and moisture.
About 4 inches of rain is expected to hit Seward and Szatanek said there could be about 7 inches of rain in and east of Portage. The rain is expected to continue through Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to hit 44 degrees near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Monday, but could rise even higher in the Kenai Peninsula. Szatanek said Seldovia is expected to see temperatures of 59 degrees Monday and Homer may reach 46 degrees.
Temperatures near Portage are expected to remain in the high 30s and low 40s until Thursday.
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