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'Stormy weekend is on tap' for Bristol Bay

National Weather Service

A winter weather advisory is in effect in the region from 4 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Sunday, mainly in areas north and west of Dillingham. 


The first winter storm of the season is forecast to hit Bristol Bay this weekend. 

A winter weather advisory is in effect in the region from 4 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Sunday, mainly in areas north and west of Dillingham. 

The National Weather Service said Bristol Bay communities including Dillingham, King Salmon, Naknek and Pilot Point should expect snow, blowing snow, and freezing rain, and total snow accumulations of up to 14 inches. 

University of Alaska Climate Specialist Rick Thoman said Friday afternoon that the storm is moving in from the south of the Aleutians towards Kodiak Island.

“The weather front associated with that storm is going to work its way westward across the Bristol Bay region,” he said. 

Thoman said in most areas, the precipitation will likely start as snow before transitioning to rain during the day on Saturday.

Credit National Weather Service

It will also be windy, with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. Bristol Bay communities will experience mostly north to northeast winds at 20 - 30 miles per hour, and Thoman said those winds will likely shift to the east and southeast on Saturday. 

“The low at this point is forecast to wind up on Sunday really sitting right in upper Bristol Bay,” Thoman said. “So it looks like a pretty stormy weekend is on tap.”

The low is forecast to slide eastward on Sunday, and taper off in snow showers.

Another storm in the Gulf of Alaska is likely to spread more participation in Kodiak, and may cross over the mountains and bring more snow northwest to the region. 

While temperatures will likely rise in southeast Alaska next week, that warm air probably won’t make it to Bristol Bay.

The National Weather Service said the stormy conditions mean that travel conditions may be difficult, and that people should take extra care when driving.


Contact the author at izzy@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.