A potent low-pressure system and an associated weather front this weekend will bring strong wind and heavy snowfall, as well as "dangerous to impossible" travel conditions, to parts of western Prince William Sound.

This storm, which begins Saturday night and is expected to continue for a day, begins a transition out of a cold, dry pattern into a warmer, wetter pattern for Southcentral Alaska into the New Year.

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has upgraded a winter storm watch in effect for the area to a blizzard warning, which officially goes into effect at 9 p.m. Saturday for areas from Portage Valley to Turnagain Pass. The warning is scheduled to expire at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Specific hazards during this event include:

Snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with up to 20 inches in some areas
Winds gusts as high as 60 mph
Whiteout conditions in blowing snow
Visibilities reduced to one-quarter mile or less at times

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