Wind blows a shimmer over the water at the Douglas Harbor Sunday afternoon. Taku Winds along with single-digit temperatures are expected to hit downtown Juneau and Douglas in the early hours of Tuesday morning and are predicted to last until later Tuesday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Wind blows a shimmer over the water at the Douglas Harbor Sunday afternoon. Taku Winds along with single-digit temperatures are expected to hit downtown Juneau and Douglas in the early hours of Tuesday morning and are predicted to last until later Tuesday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Taku Tuesday: Officials warn of high winds and cold weather

Winds between 60-70 mph expected.

This article has been updated to include additional information.

A Taku Tuesday is on the horizon for downtown Juneau and Douglas, according to officials at the National Weather Service Juneau.

Monday morning the NWS Juneau sent out an advisory warning the residents of downtown Juneau and Douglas that Taku Winds along with single-digit temperatures are expected to hit the areas in the early hours of Tuesday morning and are predicted to last until later Tuesday evening.

The advisory warns that winds may blow down trees or powerlines, and travel may become difficult. The wind chill factor is predicted to exceed 30 degrees below Fahrenheit.

Nate Compton, a meteorologist with NWS Juneau, said Taku Winds — which are mountain wave phenomena generated over Gastineau Channel — are expected to blow in from the east and bring gusts of wind between 60 and 70 mph. He said it’s a little early for Taku Winds to be hitting the Juneau area, but are not out of the realm of possibility this time of year.

Compton said he encourages residents to make preparations like securing loose objects, having a generator handy and making a plan if a power outage occurs as NWS expects a temperature drop in addition to winds with lows in the single digits.

“Any power outages could cause a significant drop in temperature and could be difficult to keep your house warm,” he said.

Compton said NWS expects the winds to diminish to lower speeds after Tuesday night, but he noted they predict continued sustained elevated levels of wind and cold weather lasting throughout the week.

Ahead of the cold snap, the City and Borough of Juneau issued a news release advising residents to take precautions to keep pipes from freezing.

Measures include leaving a pencil-then trickle of water running in the sink, keeping crawl space vents closed, ensuring pipes are insulated, checking that heat tapes are plugged in an functioning, turning off hose bibs and disconnecting hoses.

If pipes do freeze, residents are advised to contact a plumber or contractor because the city does not have the ability to thaw frozen water pipes.

The emergency water turn-off contact is available 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (907) 586-0393. After hours, the number to call is (907) 586-2165.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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