Winds keep up and rain becomes more widespread

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - While under cloudy rainy skies Wednesday Anchorage warms to near 50 degrees.

As moisture pushes in from storms out of the west, southwest and western Gulf we are looking at rain from Cook Inlet north across the Susitna Valley. From Talkeetna north, there is enough cold air in place for precipitation to fall as snow.

As the system continues to track east while more moisture gets drawn northward, the precipitation will become more widespread today (Wednesday). The flow out of the south (Western Gulf) will also drive up warmer air across the region throughout the day on Wednesday, keeping temperatures warm enough for rain.

The exception to this will be locations along the northern reaches of the Parks and Richardson Highways (Cantwell and Paxson), where several inches of snow are possible, as well as higher elevations and passes. An area of low pressure is then expected to develop near the eastern Kenai Peninsula late Wednesday into Thursday as the initial storm system stalls. These storms will continue to pull moisture from the Gulf over Southcentral, allowing precipitation to persist through Thursday, especially from Prince William Sound and the Talkeetna Mountains east to the Copper River Basin through late Thursday.

Precipitation is also expected to linger across the Anchorage Bowl and Susitna Valley through the first half of Thursday as this low slowly weakens and is replaced by a second low lifting north from the Southern Gulf.

This system will pull colder air over the Alaska Interior south, dropping snow levels through the day on Thursday (tomorrow) as it drifts slowly east. Most of the precipitation should be coming to an end over the Mat-Su Valleys and Anchorage Bowl before the colder air arrives. However, some minor accumulations are possible for the Copper River Basin Thursday night into Friday as the the system continues to track east. Gusty winds out of the southeast ahead of the front will continue through the typical channeled terrain (deeper dug-out areas with high mountainous sides) areas such as Turnagain Arm and along the Copper River area through Thursday afternoon.

There will be cloudy skies in Anchorage Wednesday with an 80% chance for widespread showers as we warm up to 50 degrees. Also, we are looking at winds out of the southeast from 10-20 mph as well as out of the southeast from 15-30 mph along Turnagain Arm and in higher elevations. Wednesday night we have a 70% chance for more widespread rain showers as we drop down to 40 degrees. Winds will be out of the southeast at 15 mph as well as 25 mph gusts but turning light later in the evening.

Cloudy and rainy on Thursday with a high of 46 degrees with a 70% chance for rain showers. Thursday night we drop down to 30 degrees with a chance for rain showers in the evening while winds blow out of the northwest at 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Looking ahead, Anchorage will be mostly cloudy on Friday with a high of 44 degrees as well as winds blowing out of the northwest from 10-15 mph.

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