Significant winter storm likely to affect travel across Alaska this week
Snow showers taper off Wednesday afternoon in Southcentral, but another round is on the way as a storm moves in from the west on Thursday.
This storm will bring blizzard-like conditions to the west coast, freezing rain to the southwest and significant snow through Western Alaska on Wednesday and Thursday before moving to the Interior and North Slope Thursday. Southcentral will see much less significant impacts, although several inches of snow are likely to fall near Anchorage by Friday afternoon.
This storm will likely cause difficult travel conditions across the state.
The Anchorage National Weather Service recorded 1.8 inches of new snow as of 3 a.m. Wednesday. The snow total for the month is now up to 14.2 inches, which is only 0.6 inches below average for this point in December. With more snow in the forecast, we’ll likely finish out the month above average for snowfall. The season continues to be about 18 inches below average.
As the current front over Anchorage moves on to the east, the clouds will clear Wednesday afternoon and the temperatures will drop. Overnight low temperatures will likely be in the single digits across Southcentral.
Clouds will increase Thursday with snow arriving in the afternoon and continuing into Friday morning. Clouds will clear Friday afternoon with drier and cooler weather expected for the holiday weekend.
A warm front, followed by a cold front, will move over the west coast late Wednesday and Thursday.
A blizzard warning is in effect for St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait Coast from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. Thursday for 6 to 12 inches of new snow and wind gusts to 50 mph.
A winter storm warning will go into effect for most of western Alaska and the Brooks Range, starting as early as 6 p.m. Wednesday with the warning spreading north and east from there. Most locations under this warning can expect 6 to 12 inches of snow and wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph.
Further south in the Kuskokwim Delta, a freezing rain advisory is in effect from midnight Wednesday through noon on Thursday for up to one-tenth of an inch of ice. People in this area can expect snow Wednesday evening, transitioning to freezing rain overnight before switching back to snow late Thursday.
The Interior is under a winter storm watch from 3 p.m. Thursday through 12 p.m. Friday. Snow will move into this area late Thursday afternoon. Snow is likely, between 6 to 12 inches, with wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph.
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