A winter storm is expected to bring blizzard conditions to some northwest Alaska communities Wednesday and Thursday.


The strong area of low pressure will move into the Chukchi Sea this evening, before moving across the North Slope on Thursday. Wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph will be possible for areas along the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea coasts, with sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph.


Barter Island may see gusts as high as 75 mph.


The winds will cause areas of blowing snow and reduced visibility. In addition to strong winds, the storm will also bring fresh snow to the region, with totals of 2 to 4 inches expected.


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A winter storm warning is in effect from Wednesday morning until midnight for St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea Coasts. In addition, storm surge values of 4 to 5 feet are possible in Kotzebue Sound and along the Chukchi Sea coast.


A blizzard warning goes into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday for communities in the northwestern Brooks Range and the western Arctic coast, and will continue until noon Thursday.


A blizzard watch is in place for areas along the Arctic coast from Barrow east and in communities of the northeastern Brooks Range. A winter weather advisory for gusty winds, snow and blowing snow is in effect Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning for inland areas of the western interior.


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The front associated with this storm will move inland by Thursday, bringing snow and winds gusts of 35 to 40 mph to interior Alaska. High pressure will build behind the low-pressure system, keeping gusty winds in the forecast through Thursday night for the eastern interior and the North Slope.


For details on watches, warnings, and advisories in your area visit the National Weather Service website.


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