High winds, snow expected in Southcentral storm

A wet road
DOT Webcam image from MM 78.9 Portage Glacier Road at 9:22 a.m., Dec. 22, 2020.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Weather forecasters in Alaska have said travel between Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula could be near impossible as a major winter storm is expected to bring wind gusts up to 90 mph and heavy snow.

The National Weather Service issued a wind warning from Monday night to Tuesday afternoon for much of Southcentral Alaska, including Anchorage and the western Kenai Peninsula, The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

The agency also issued a blizzard warning from Portage Valley to Seward during the same timeframe. Turnagain Pass is expected to see the highest accumulations of snowfall. The snow is expected to turn to rain by Tuesday afternoon.

Weather officials have warned that driving conditions could be dangerous throughout the region Monday.

“Travel could be nearly impossible,” the warning said. “Widespread blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility to whiteout conditions. Very strong winds could cause power outages and extensive tree damage.”

Strong winds and snow are also expected for the Matanuska and Susitna valleys early this week, officials said, warning residents to be prepared for the possibility of a power outage.