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Phanfone Leaves Japan, But Could It Hit Alaska?

7 Oct 2014, 12:19 am

A former typhoon will likely have a significant impact Alaska’s weather this week, and into the weekend.

The remnants of Typhoon Phanfone, which lashed Japan with strong winds and rain on Sunday and Monday, are now moving northeastward away from Japan – offshore from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The system is expected to stay on its eastward trajectory, riding up the Aleutians and moving into northern portions of the Gulf of Alaska by the end of the week.

As a result, substantial impacts might be felt from maritime moisture being pumped north into Alaska from Phanfone. Several inches of rain is possible in the populated corridors stretching from Anchorage to the Alaskan panhandle to Sitka (including the state capital of Juneau). While the Anchorage area saw its first snowflakes of the season over the weekend, snow is not expected to be a big issue with this system because of the warm air being advected northward from Gulf of Alaska into the Kenai Peninsula.

Here’s a look – courtesy of the weather model – of what conditions look like on Thursday morning, with the storm starting to push into the central and northern Aleutians:

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 3.52.34 PM

Image courtesy: WeatherBell Analytics

The impacts start as soon as Tuesday, especially along the western edge of the Aleutians. Eventually, the system will move onto the mainland by late Thursday into Friday. Some residual affects are possible on Saturday as well. The rain may not subside until early next week as the low – again, phased with the remnants of Phanfone – stalls in the Gulf of Alaska, pumping moisture into the 49 state through the weekend.

Here’s a look at the storm potentially at its peak on Friday night, bringing big rains to coastal Alaska:

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 3.50.15 PM


Image courtesy: WeatherBell Analytics


Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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