Wind forecast for Friday evening, local time, from the ECMWF model. Oranges, reds, and purples signify mean wind speeds of 50 to 70 mph. (Weather Underground)

The remnants of Typhoon Nuri will whip up 50-foot waves to the Bering Sea, and pound the Aleutian Islands with at least gale-force winds through the weekend.

Former Typhoon Nuri, now just a tropical storm, but once “super” with sustained winds of 180 mph, is tracking north through the western Pacific Ocean, east of Japan. The storm has lost much of its typhoon-like characteristics on satellite, and is fortunately sparing Japan of any serious impacts.

But after a brief cessation on Thursday — the calm before the storm — Nuri’s remains will rise again in the north Pacific, unleashing a potentially record-setting fury on the Bering Sea.


Forecast wind speed and direction visualization from the GFS model. (earth.nullschool.net)

On Wednesday night, the European model was forecasting the monster storm to be packing widespread wind speeds of 50 to 70 mph as moves through the Bering Sea starting Friday. The National Weather Service in Anchorage was warning of gusts from 80 to 100 mph from the islands of Shemya to Adak late on Friday and into Saturday.

The population of these far western Aleutian Islands is around 400 people.

forecast-wave-height-animation
Mean wave height forecast from Friday through Monday shows the peak average wave heights approaching 50 feet (15 meters) will occur Saturday morning, local time. (NWS EMC)

The storm’s hurricane-force winds will whip the ocean surface into a frenzy. The Ocean Prediction Center is forecasting significant wave heights of at least 50 feet from Friday into Saturday. But that’s just the average wave height. Peak waves will likely be much higher than this, according to the Ocean Prediction Center.

In the past 12 hours, forecast models have backed off on the storm’s minimum low pressure, though it is still expected to be within record-setting range. The GFS is now forecasting a minimum low of 924 mb, and the European model is suggesting 922 mb. These forecasts are in agreement with the Ocean Prediction Center, as well.


Mean sea level pressure forecast for Friday night from the ECMWF shows a minimum pressure of 922 mb in the Bering Sea. (weatherbell.com)

The previous low pressure record for Alaska is 927 mb, which was recorded at Dutch Harbor in 1977. If this storm ramps up into an intensity that previous forecasts have suggested, it could also rival the lowest extratropical pressure on record for any location — 913 mb, which was set in the North Sea east of Scotland  in 1993.