A winter warm snap is causing wild weather throughout Southcentral Alaska. There have been severe windstorms and unseasonably high temperatures. Heavy, warm winds are flowing over the Chugach Mountains.


Meteorologist says a strong El Niño year is responsible.


Father-son duo Mike and Marty Tumey don’t mind the gusts. On Wednesday they planned to snowshoe up Flattop Mountain.


“I don’t know what to expect. It looks like it’s blowing even harder than it was a few days ago,” Mike Tumey said.


“It’s just fun to get pushed around by it,” said 11-year-old Marty.


Tuesday night, dozens of trees toppled in the winds that blew as much as 100 miles per hour on the hillside and 70 miles per hour in East Anchorage.


“That little tiny wire can’t compete with a tree that’s 12 inches in diameter,” said Vill Bernia, VP of power delivery for Chugach Electric.


Crews were out restoring service after countless outages.


National Weather Service meteorologist David Snider said unseasonably warm temperatures have melted most of Anchorage’s snow. He said while rare, this kind of weather event happens at least once a year.


“The last couple years have been pretty low snow years, so that combined is probably not the greatest for winter weather lovers,” he said.


But until cooler temperatures arrive, some Alaskans will endure this mid-winter thaw.


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