The remnants of Hurricane Oho will bring high winds and heavy rains to southern and central Southeast Alaska on Friday.
The storm has been moving rapidly across the Pacific toward Southeast Alaska. As of Thursday morning, it had maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. However, the storm was expected to strengthen to near-hurricane force by the time it nears the Alaska Panhandle.
David Levin is a meteorologist intern at the National Weather Service forecast office in Juneau. He says the storm should hit early Friday morning.
“The latest forecast track has it coming, making an approach west of Prince of Wales Island and then tracking kind of along the Southeast Alaska coast, generally northwestward and then finally coming inland over the northeast and eastern gulf coast area north of Cross Sound.”
Levin says the storm is forecast to bring high winds to the southern Panhandle Thursday night and into Friday morning, hitting southern Southeast first.
“Right now it looks like the strongest winds are going to be over the south in the Craig, Klawock, Ketchikan areas with winds of 40-50 miles an hour but gusting as high as 60-80 miles per hour. Those winds are also going to be felt in the central Panhandle, Petersburg, Wrangell, Sitka area but more in the lines of 35-45 miles per hour sustained, looking at gusts as high as 55-75 miles per hour especially along the coastal areas as that system moves northwest.”
Heavy rains bringing three to four inches are also forecast. The storm is expected to move out of the area by Friday afternoon and evening.
The storm has led to the cancellation of some ferry services in the region. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority has called off Friday’s sailing between Hollis and Ketchikan. The Rainforest Island Ferry is cancelling Friday’s sailing between Coffman Cove, Wrangell and southern Mitkof Island, and may cancel Sunday’s service, as well.
As of Thursday at noon, the Alaska Marine Highway System was not planning any service interruptions because of the storm.