Update: Second in pair of Bering Sea storms looks to stay south of Aleutians, AKPen this weekend

Oct 11, 2017

As first big low pressure storm moves east towards Russia Thursday and Friday, second storm now looks to stay south of Bering Sea and Bristol Bay. NWS downgrading threat of high seas and coastal erosion in weekend forecast.

The first of a pair of storms expected this week, this massive low is tracking across the western Bering, and it's front is expected to push some storm surge up along Alaska's western coast on Wednesday and Thursday's high tides.
Credit NWS

Thursday update: As one large low pressure storm passes through the eastern Bering Sea region today, a second storm coming up behind now looks less likely to impact Bristol Bay this weekend.

"The track that looks most likely right now is going to take it just to along the Aleutians, or just south of them, and the Alaska Peninsula," said NWS meteorologist Eddie Zingone. "The result of this will really diminish any threat of storm surge in Bristol Bay, Kuskokwim Bay, anywhere there in Southwest Alaska this weekend."

Zingone says the strongest winds from the second storm will stay south of the Aleutians and Alaska Peninsula. The severity of its impacts on the weekend marine weather has been downgraded.

Further north, Eastern Norton Sound will be under a coastal flood warning from 7 p.m. tonight till 10 p.m. tomorrow. NWS is predicting storm surge of 5 to 8 feet above normal tides, which is several feet higher than Tuesday’s storm.

The highest water levels and greatest flooding potential is expected tomorrow morning, and could affect the communities of Elim, Koyuk, Shaktoolik, Unalakleet, Stebbins, and St. Michael.

Original story below:

More stormy weather is expected in Southwest Alaska Wednesday and Thursday courtesy of a strong low pressure system tracking across the western Bering Sea.

The National Weather Service said hurricane force gusts are possible out near Shemya. As the front pushes east, coastal areas from Goodnews Bay to Kipnuk could see storm surge of 1-3 feet on the afternoon high tide, which are already predicted to be some of the biggest of the year.

"Even if you’re not in that area, the marine waters are going to be pretty rough with the seas coming in from this. They have the whole Bering Sea to pick up some of that fetch and to really pound out some of those seas," said Eddie Zingone, a meteorologist at the NWS office in Anchroage.

Some strong south, southeast winds and about an inch of rain are expected for other parts of Southwest Alaska through Thursday.

NWS is keeping a close eye on a second storm, described as a compact and fast-moving system that will come right on the backside of the first one.

"That is going to have a big impact for where it goes through, but that’s the uncertainty," said Zingone.

"We’ve got a number of spreads on our models, and what we’re looking at, it could come up closer to the northern part of Bristol Bay, [or] south of the Alaska Peninsula. So that’s what we’re watching, and timeframe on that is this weekend, looking for Friday night through Saturday night.”

As of Wednesday, the marine zone forecasts for Bristol Bay and the Alaska Peninsula call for strong southwest winds and seas of 20 to 25 feet on Saturday.

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Thursday's predicted wave heights from the mid-week storm. A second round of stormy weather is expected Friday and Saturday, but NWS isn't sure where yet.
Credit NWS