Strong Winds Expected for Anchorage

One year after high winds caused extensive damage in Anchorage and across Southcentral Alaska, September is again starting off with concern about overnight gusts. Christian Cassell, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Anchorage, said winds of 45 to 60 mph will pick up along higher elevations and Turnagain Arm Monday night. He said gusts could reach 75 miles per hour during the evening.

“That will begin to pick up, especially in the next few hours towards this evening and then last all night and then diminish a little bit during the morning tomorrow,” he said Monday afternoon.

Cassell said the Anchorage area could see winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 40 to 50 mph. Weather conditions will be unsettled throughout the week, he said.

We are looking at another significant low pressure system moving from the North Pacific northward across Southcentral. There are early indications that we could be looking at possibly a more significant wind event, but it’s still too early to say for sure. Confidence is still pretty low at this time.”]

Cassell said there are no indications that there will be a repeat of last year when thousands of Anchorage and Southcentral residents were without power for days, but he said people should be vigilant.

Now that we’re more confident that we’re going to get stronger winds even into the bowl tonight [Monday]…I want to emphasize we’re not expecting an event like last year Labor Day, but if there are any weak trees with the rainfall and the winds, there could be issues, isolated issues.”

Trees downed by last fall’s wind storm are still visible in many places across Anchorage.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 18 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori