By Jasz Garrett
UPDATE: A blizzard warning has been issued for Juneau.
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Juneau is in the calm before the storm this Sunday.
Meteorologist Greg Spann from the National Weather Service in Juneau wants the community to be prepared for a winter storm on Monday. The storm could begin as early as 3:00 a.m. and is expected to peak in the afternoon. While it has started to snow Sunday, the main front is still expected to begin Monday.
He gave details on what to expect, based on their current winter storm watch that covers Juneau and most of Southeast, including the central Northern Panhandle.
“We have a very strong system that will be moving up beginning late tonight into tomorrow morning and then going through a lot of tomorrow and even into Tuesday. Right now, for Juneau in particular, we’re thinking that snow is going to begin in the early morning hours on Monday and then really pick up and will intensify especially as we head into the mid-day on Monday into late Monday afternoon,” he said. “Monday night, we’re expecting that to begin to transition over to rain a little bit more as some warmer temperatures begin trying to arrive into the area. But we are expecting anywhere as it stands right now from about 10 to 16 inches of snowfall with this system for Juneau, Alaska proper.”
Winds are expected as high as 45 mph. That estimation is subject to change.
“We are expecting gusty winds at times. Wind gusts will be considerable on some occasions so visibility could be restricted during some parts of the day, especially as we head on to that afternoon time period,” he said.
Along with the decreased visibility, high winds could also bring down trees.
Spann added that most of Southeast will be impacted in one way or another.
“Snow-wise, it’s looking like areas from the central panhandle on North will be receiving by far the greatest snow totals. But areas in the southern Panhandle including Prince of Wales Island, will be seeing some very strong winds associated with this system as well,” he said. “So, this is very much one of those systems where everyone’s going to experience some form of weather. It just depends on which part of the Panhandle you’re in.”
Prince of Wales Island could see wind gusts as high as 60 mph Monday.
As of Sunday afternoon, the winter storm is in a ‘watch’ status.
“A winter storm watch, we think that conditions are favorable. You know, you have the conditions that are in place. The question remains, how bad is it going to be? Will these conditions that are in place, you know, come together in the exact right way? Or, you know, might they happen maybe a little further south, a little bit further north,” he explained. “There’s still some maneuvering room right there. When we issue a winter storm warning that means that we’re confident that the conditions are in place, that the event’s going to happen, and that it’s going to be pretty bad, frankly speaking.”
Spann advised the community to plan ahead Monday and stay inside if they can. He said it’s a strong system that will likely lead NWSJ to make changes as time goes on.
“When it comes to winter storm watches like this, always it’s important to keep up to date with information as conditions change, as we see some places where we think conditions may change,” he said. “Just keep an eye out on the forecast, especially for your location, and when winter storms do strike…play it safe.”