First snowfall makes for slippery morning commute in Anchorage, Mat-Su
ANCHORAGE — Last updated at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21
The Friday morning commute in the Anchorage or Mat-Su areas was slow-going for many. A cold front passing through Southcentral has brought the season’s first measurable snowfall.
The Anchorage Police Department has received reports of at least 16 vehicle crashes and 35 vehicles in distress since midnight, according to spokesperson Jennifer Castro.
Anchorage began seeing rain Thursday evening, which transitioned to snow shortly after midnight. The first measurable observation of the season was 0.20 inches, recorded between midnight and 1 a.m. at the National Weather Service office in Sand Lake, where Anchorage’s official snow total is measured. As of 7 a.m., the office had recorded 2.4 inches of snow.
Totals in the bowl range from around 1 inch, to more than 4 inches on the Eagle River hillside.
The snow will continue through mid-morning, before tapering to flurries for the afternoon. Temperatures in the Anchorage area will warm above freezing for daytime highs, and will dip into the teens and 20s by Saturday morning. This will allow melting and refreezing of snow, which could lead to slippery road conditions on Friday and Saturday.
The snow will push south and east today, bringing a mix of snow and rain to parts of the eastern Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound, where temperatures are warmer.
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Snowfall accumulation between 0.5 inches and 2 inches is likely in the Anchorage area, with up to 3 inches possible at higher elevations.
This system is moving in from the northwest, so areas west of the mountains — like Anchorage, Birchwood and Eagle River — have a better chance of accumulating snow than the usual east-facing locations.
Drivers should expect icy, snowy conditions for Friday morning’s commute. Snowfall in the Mat-Su and Anchorage areas Friday will taper to flurries by midday as the snow and rain moves into the Copper River Basin, Kenai Peninsula and Price William Sound.
Cooler air will move in behind the system bringing chilly, breezy conditions and sunny skies to southcentral Alaska for the weekend.
This is a fast moving system, so expect minor flurries and partial clearing by late morning. The weekend will be dry with plenty of sunshine and cold temperatures — lows in the mid teens to around 20, and highs in the low to mid 30s.
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