GOES-West – Sector View: Alaska*, September 16, 2022 10:00 PM ET. Source – NOAA/GOES WEST satellite.
A powerful extratropical cyclone is expected to hit the west coast of Alaska starting Friday evening, bringing potential dangers from a storm surge that threatens to peak at 18 feet and wind gusts that hit 90 mph.
The Associated Press reports that the storm is the remnants of what was Typhoon Merbock, which University of Alaska Fairbanks climate scientist Rick Toman says also affects weather patterns away from Alaska.
“All this warm air brought north by this former typhoon is basically causing a chain reaction in the jet stream downstream from Alaska,” he said. This includes a rare late-summer storm that is expected to bring rain this weekend to drought-stricken areas of California.
“This is a historic storm,” Toman said of the system heading towards Alaska. “In 10 years, people will be referring to the September 2022 storm as a reference storm.”
“This storm is a dangerous storm that will result in widespread coastal flooding south of the Bering Strait, with water levels above nearly 50 years,” the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said in a statement. Forecast discussion on Friday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued several warnings to address the many hurricane-like threats. Washington post.
Most of Alaska West Coast already under warning and watching. All areas along the coastline from Quinhagak to Point Hope are under coastal flood and high wind warnings, with Lisburn Point and the northern coastal areas extending to Teshekpuk Lake under coastal flood watch.
Nome will see water levels 11 feet above normal high tide, and the city’s mayor said Thursday that Belmont Point residents should “prepare for a possible evacuation“.
In Golovin, the water level could rise up to 13 feet above normal. The National Weather Service’s Anchorage office said the overall moisture content during the storm was “quite extreme” with sufficient moisture being “200 to 300 percent normal.”