Hello, October: Autumn gales hit Southeast Alaska with high winds and heavy rain
A huge low swept the Gulf of Alaska on Friday night (10-1-21) bringing unusually strong weather to the enclave. The storm’s highest gust was 75 mph, recorded around 7 p.m. at Rocky Gutierrez Airport in Sitka, but sustained winds of 40 to 50 mph and gusts to over 60 lasted until early Saturday morning. . Offshore, the Cape Edgecumbe weather buoy recorded a gust of 64 knots (74 mph) at 8:20 p.m. Friday. The buoy reported seas of over 35 feet at 12:50 a.m. on Saturday, about the size of a three-story building.
Electricity was cut in some areas of Sitka overnight, but restored at 5 a.m. (details pending from CBS electrical department).
The storm’s highest precipitation in Sitka was recorded at the NSRAA’s Medvejie Hatchery in Bear Cove, with 2.95 inches within 24 hours between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. The US Geodetic Survey in downtown Sitka reported 2.47 inches during the same period; the Sea Mountain golf course reported 2.44 inches.
Sitka’s extraordinary meteorological instrument network is part of an ongoing research partnership at the Sitka Sound Science Center to develop a landslide warning system for the community. Real-time network weather data is available online here. Scroll down to “AK023: Cape Decision to Salisbury Sound Coastal Area” for Sitka stations.