A warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for a "Major Winter Storm" expected to hit the West Coast and Western Interior. This storm follows on the heels of a leading front that is due to hit the Bering Strait today lasting until Saturday.
Now citizens should be preparing for a much larger storm due to arrive at the weekend and last into next week. There will be a threat of heavy snowfall and south to east winds between 35 and 60 mph. The winds will cause significant blowing and cause drifting snow which will make travel conditions extremely hazardous.
Areas that are due to be affected by the Storm are:
- Baldwin Peninsula and Selawik Valley
- Chukchi Sea Coast
- Eastern Norton Sound and Nulato Hills
- Lower Kobuk and Noatak Valleys
- Lower Koyukuk and Middle Yukon Valleys
- Lower Yukon Valley
- Northern and Interior Seward Peninsula
- Southern Seward Peninsula Coast
- St Lawrence Island and Bering Strait Coast
- Upper Kobuk and Noatak Valleys
- Upper Kuskokwim Valley
- Yukon Delta
Additional warnings are being issued to coastal areas from the Bering Strait and southward. There is the potential for sea ice to push up onto the beaches along the coast. If the area is prone to southeast winds and has limited shorefast ice, sea ice is expected until Sunday night.
Areas of Norton Sound should prepare for tide levels to rise by 3-4 inches on Saturday evening until Sunday. Looking ahead to next week, a surge of west winds could cause issues on Monday as the low shifts inland.
How to Prepare for A Major Storm
Extreme weather is nothing new for Alaska, however, it never hurts to be prepared for when they hit. There's time before the storm hits this weekend to stockpile food and medicine to see out the weather. Check your emergency preparedness kit to ensure flashlights and radios have batteries. You may also want to add some portable phone charges.
Staying warm is essential during the storm so check over any space heaters to ensure they're functioning. Sometimes the power to your home gets knocked out during a storm. Without additional heating sources, there is a risk of catching hypothermia.
Check over your car to make sure it can be used in a pinch. Typically you should avoid driving during a storm but if it's absolutely necessary you need to make sure it's road safe. Check the oil levels, breaks, battery headlights, and heating. Stock up on antifreeze, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and flares. Grab a bag of sand or kitty litter to help with traction on the road in rough areas.
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