Snow returns to the forecast for Southcentral Alaska beginning Thursday night, while temperatures in the Interior are expected to drop substantially in the coming week thanks to approaching Arctic air.

An area of low pressure will move into Prince William Sound, bringing areas of snow and rain to Southcentral and Southeast Alaska Friday and Saturday. Areas around Anchorage will generally see 1 to 4 inches of accumulation with locally higher amounts possible.

After the snow wraps up, the attention turns to next’s weeks forecast.

An upper level trough will continue to drop south over Interior Alaska, bringing with it frigid Arctic air. This could bring some of the coldest temperatures of the season to parts of Interior Alaska by Monday and Tuesday.

The National Weather Service office in Fairbanks issued a special weather statement for the Interior Tuesday. It says temperatures of 40 to 50 below zero are possible early next week. Exact temperatures are still uncertain this far out, and won’t become more clear until the weekend.

How cold temperatures get is dependent on how much cloud cover sticks around. If clouds clear out, a strong inversion will likely develop over portions of the Interior, leading to bitter cold. If more of the cloud cover stays in place, temperatures won’t be as cold.

The cold air will continue to push south over the first part of next week, and could bring colder air to Southcentral as well.

Inland areas of Southcentral, such as the Susitna Valley and Copper River Basin, have the best chances of seeing a cold snap.

It’s still uncertain whether the Anchorage area will also experience these frigid temperatures.

Computer models indicate areas of low pressure moving into the Gulf of Alaska next week, which would bring warmer moist air to coastal areas and possibly Anchorage. This could lessen or delay the colder air from moving into Anchorage.

Rachael Penton can be reached via email or on Twitter @RachaelPenton.

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