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    Incredible Alaska 'Snowicane' Could Slam Northwest This Weekend

    By By Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist
    November 18, 2011, 7:22:05 AM EST

    Part of a storm blasting the Bering Sea into Friday may slam the Northwest with gusty winds, heavy rain and mountain whiteouts in time for the weekend.

    Residents and outdoor interests in the Pacific Northwest will want to keep an eye on the latest developments on a potential storm for the region this weekend.

    Bering Sea Snowicane

    Over the Bering Sea region from southeastern Chukotka, Russia, to western Alaska, the storm will seem like a hurricane with snow, a "snowicane."

    Damaging winds, blizzard conditions, huge waves and coastal flooding will batter the region near the Arctic Circle Thursday and Friday.

    For people in the Bering Sea region, including shipping and fishing interests, this is considered to be a life-threatening storm situation.

    Northwest Impacts

    The Bering Sea storm will break up into several pieces late in the week. One of the larger pieces of that storm will turn southeastward toward British Columbia Saturday.


    Although this is not expected to be a record-breaking storm for the Northwest and British Columbia and will weaken on its approach, it could be the strongest storm of the season so far for the region.

    If the storm tracks as currently suggested, it could deliver drenching rain, heavy mountain snow and pounding waves, all accompanied by strong winds, spanning Saturday into Sunday from Oregon to British Columbia.

    The exact track and strength of the storm will determine who gets smacked the hardest by the storm.

    Storms of this nature in the past have stranded hikers on the peaks of the Cascades and prompted rescues of small craft in coastal waters.

    Next Week

    Energy and moisture from the storm will then feed inland and southward in the West by early next week and are bound to spread adverse travel conditions over a large area.

    While it is early to speculate a great deal, it could become another snowstorm for the central Rockies and the Denver area around this time next week as this storm merges with another storm aiming for Southern California late this week with rain.

    The details of the Northwest storm will unfold as the week progresses.


    The speed at which the Southern California storm moves onshore with its rain is a bit uncertain at this time, but it would appear to begin later Thursday into Friday. Beforehand, there will be some nice weather for a few days this week in the Southland.

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