Alaska’s western coast is expecting high winds and flooding in powerful storm this weekend | CNN


The remnants of Typhoon Merbok are putting western Alaska residents on high alert as a coastal storm is expected to bring flooding and strong winds later this week.

winds up to 65 mph According to the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Coast are expected. Strong winds are likely on Saturday morning.

Forecasters call it “the most powerful storm in more than a decade.”

Authorities in the Phnom area, which has around 10,000 residents, have urged people to prepare.

“Port users should secure yachts and ships in port and at Belmont Point. Please check your lines and gear from time to time to avoid damage,” the city of Phnom said on its Facebook page.

The city said its recreation center would serve as an emergency shelter.

“Many local, state, federal, tribal and non-governmental agencies and emergency response organizations are aware of the potential of this storm and are building up their response capabilities,” the Alaska Division of Homeland Security said. “State Emergency Operations Center staff will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with communities along the path of the storm.”

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities asked people to report road conditions to their Nome Maintenance Station.

The system was passing over the Bering Sea, which spans the North Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Russia.

“This is a dangerous storm, which is expected to cause widespread coastal flooding south of the Bering Strait, the water level of which has not been seen in nearly 50 years,” the weather service warned on Thursday.

Along the coast of Alaska, the main threat is a double whammy of coastal flooding and strong winds up to 60 mph that can displace loose objects, damage buildings and bring down power lines.

Weather officials in Alaska also urged residents to be prepared for the storm because it could threaten to affect critical infrastructure and wash roads. The impact of the storm is likely to last from Friday to Sunday morning, with the water level rising the most on Saturday.

Coastal flood watches have also been issued for all coastlines along the west coast of Alaska from north of the Arctic Circle down to the Kuskokwim Delta coast.

CNN Weather

The last time Alaska saw a hurricane was in 2011, when it left behind an extensive swath of destruction. Like Meerbok, the 2011 system was an extratropical storm. A tropical storm or cyclone has cold air at its core – in contrast to a tropical storm or cyclone that has a warm core. Both can cause significant damage from strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surges.

“When a major storm hits, we always say, ‘Does this compare to the 2011 hurricane? Jonathan Crist, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Fairbanks, told CNN. “This is the first storm since 2011 that we have great confidence in … will compare impact-wise.”

On Friday, the remnants of Meerbok are predicted to move into the Bering Sea and “bomb out”, also known as bombogenesis, referring to a drop in pressure of 24 millibars in 24 hours or less. This means that the storm is rapidly strengthening and has the potential to cause significant damage.

“Winds will intensify near Shishmaref on Saturday morning, and during the day near Kotjebue and the Chukchi coast on Saturday,” the weather service said. “In addition to significant beach erosion, there will be coastal flooding.”

While most areas will receive about 1 inch of rain with this storm, some may receive up to 3 inches of rain over the weekend.

Even if Anchorage — more than 500 miles from Nome — lifts 1 to 2 inches above this storm, it would push this year into the top five warmest years on record.

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