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Alaska braces for historic storm

Wild waves in the Bering Sea in Nome, Alaska.  Floods are expected to be the worst in 50 years.
Wild waves in the Bering Sea in Nome, Alaska. Floods are expected to be the worst in 50 years.

Residents of Alaska’s sparsely populated west coast are bracing for a storm that could be one of the worst ever, with hurricane-force winds and high waves. Fears of power outages and floods.

The storm formed in the wake of Hurricane Meirbuck, which climate scientists say is affecting weather as far south as California where a late summer storm is now expected.

All that warm air that came north from the previous hurricane is essentially causing a chain reaction in the jet stream downstream from Alaska, says Rick Thomas of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

– It’s a storm on a historical level. Ten years from now, he adds, people will refer to the September 2022 storm as the benchmark.

Flood Warning

Hurricane-force winds are expected in parts of the Bering Sea. In the small communities of Elim and Kuyuk, the water level may be five meters higher than the normal high tide level. A flash flood warning is in effect through Monday in parts of northwest Alaska.

In the Nome area, which has a population of 3,500, 71-year-old Leon Boardway is preparing for a storm.

“I hope everyone stays calm and finds shelter in a good and safe place,” he says.

storm in california

Farther south, the storm is expected to form a low pressure system off the coast of northern California. Strong winds and rain are expected on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. This means that wildfires in the area can be extinguished somewhat, while strong winds also risk causing a mosquito fire to spread northeast of Sacramento.

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Meanwhile, storm Leicester in the eastern Pacific is approaching the coast of Mexico near Acapulco. Strong winds, rain and high waves are expected in several states.

During Saturday, Storm Fiona is also expected to move over Puerto Rico on its way across the Caribbean, and may cross the United States early Sunday morning with significant amounts of rain.