Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File 
Fresh rainwater sits on top of the ice at Auke Lake in Jeanueary 2019. Although June is typically considered a relatively dry month in the capital city, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain starting Wednesday evening and through the weekend.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File Fresh rainwater sits on top of the ice at Auke Lake in Jeanueary 2019. Although June is typically considered a relatively dry month in the capital city, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain starting Wednesday evening and through the weekend.

Multi-day rain event expected for Juneau

Expect 1-3 inches of rain

Grab your raincoat on the way out the door Wednesday morning.

Although June is typically considered a relatively dry month in Juneau, an unseasonably strong storm will bring a few inches of rain to the capital city from Wednesday night through the weekend.

“We’ve got a couple of rounds of weather coming in,” said Grant Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Juneau, during a phone interview Tuesday morning.

“The rain will swing in and hit the coast. It will give us some gusty winds at the coast,” he said.

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Smith predicted that Wednesday would start out decently with partly cloudy skies in the morning. Throughout the day, clouds will increase and rain will begin. He said models show 1-3 inches of rain could fall through the weekend.

“It will really ramp up Wednesday night,” Smith said, noting that it will likely be a multiple-day rain event spread across a couple of rounds of heavy showers.

“There’s lots of rain coming in. It’s unusual for this time of year. But, the amounts are not crazy for the area,” he said, adding that forecasters do not expect significant flood hazards in the area’s rivers.

Smith said that the heat waves plaguing California are creating Pacific high-pressure systems that are connecting with low-pressure systems in Southwest Alaska and creating rain for Juneau.

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This week’s rain will arrive during an already wet year.

Smith said that Juneau typically receives 45 inches of rain by this point in the year. However, since October, when annual rain year measurements begin, 62.14 inches of rain has fallen.

Though heavier than usual, it’s not near the record-setting 1936-1937 season that saw 84 inches of rain by mid-June.

Smith said that the three-month climate predictions show slightly warmer temperatures than average for the rest of the summer with near-normal moisture, which points to potentially drier weeks ahead.

“We’ve been seeing hints of warmer temperatures. When the sun comes out, we warm up,” Smith said.

Smith said that models, which look out to the July 4 holiday, show warmer temperatures. But, the rain models are still unclear for the holiday weekend.

“There’s some good hope for warmer weather,” he said.

• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

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