A strong winter storm is expected to impact Seward and Turnagain Arm on Monday and Tuesday. (National Weather Service)

A strong winter storm is expected to impact Seward and Turnagain Arm on Monday and Tuesday. (National Weather Service)

High wind and blizzard warnings issued from Seward to Turnagain

Winds with speeds from 40 to 65 miles per hour and heavy snowfall is expected

Two separate weather warnings were issued for Seward and surrounding areas by the National Weather Service in Anchorage on Monday.

A high wind warning is in effect from 9 p.m. on Monday to 6 p.m. on Tuesday for Portage Valley and eastern Turnagain Arm. Impacted cities may include Whittier, Seward, Girdwood and Moose Pass.

East winds with speeds ranging from 40 to 65 miles per hour and gusts to 90 miles per hour are expected. Impacts of high wind may include the movement of loose debris, property damage and power outages. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Peak winds are expected from late Monday night through Tuesday, mostly through Portage Valley. In preparation for the high wind, people are encouraged to secure loose objects that could be damaged by the wind, to prepare for power outages and to use caution while driving.

Additionally, a blizzard warning is in effect from 9 p.m. on Monday to 12 p.m. on Tuesday along the Seward Highway north of Seward, including Moose Pass, Turnagain Pass and Portage Valley.

Total snow accumulations of 1-3 feet are expected in addition to winds gusting as high as 90 miles per hour through Portage Valley. According to the National Weather Service, travel “could be nearly impossible” due to blowing snow that will cause whiteout conditions and limit visibility. Strong winds may cause power outages and tree damage.

Heavy snow is expected to fall at rates of up to 2 inches per hour. The snow is expected to change to rain by midday Tuesday. The greatest snowfall is expected to be through Turnagain Pass while Moose Pass and Portage Valley are expected to receive around 1 foot of snow before the rain.

People are encouraged to expect poor visibility while driving.

“If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you,” the alert said. “If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

Updated road conditions can be found on 511.alaska.gov or by calling 511.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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