Christmas forecast: Cold temps, light snow in store for Southcentral
Family, friends, and travel are on the minds of many this holiday weekend. Whether you are headed to the airport, planning a road trip or spending this holiday at home, this forecast has you covered.
Anchorage, Mat-Su Forecast, Prince William Sound: Green
Friday will be another beautiful day in Southcentral. Mostly sunny skies in the bowl, north toward the Valley, and east toward the Prince William Sound.
Temperatures will largely be in the 20s, but it will feel cooler as north breezes continue to blow through Southcentral. Overnight lows will be in the teens, with wind chill values making it feel like the single-digits close to zero.
Looking ahead toward the holiday, Saturday afternoon, the large ridge of high pressure that has been sitting over the northeast Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Alaska begins to weaken. So, clouds will begin move back into Southcentral.
There is a chance for light snow Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Less than one inch accumulation is expected.
Kenai Peninsula: Green
Expect mostly fair conditions around the Kenai Peninsula Friday. Expect high temperatures in the 20s and 30s, with the warmest temps in Homer.
Mostly sunny skies will prevail, except around the southern peninsula. Cloudy skies are expected in Homer with evening showers Saturday. Overcast skies return Saturday for all of the peninsula. There is a chance of snow with accumulations less than one inch for Christmas and Christmas Eve.
Kodiak Island: Yellow
Travel with care. Kodiak, is expected to receive several inches of rainfall through the morning of Christmas Eve.
Temperatures will be around 40 degrees, now up to Christmas here also. Saturday, a potent but slow moving front will stretch out along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. Gale-force (39-54 mph) to storm-force (55-73mph) winds will accompany this front, as it moves north, across Kodiak Island.
By late Christmas Eve, winds in the northern Gulf will calm. Christmas Eve and Christmas day will be the best travel days to, from, and around Kodiak Island.
Southwest Alaska: Red
Holiday travel will likely be impacted for those moving through Southwest Alaska north through the Bering Strait. High winds, blowing snow, and poor visibility are the factors affecting travel across these areas.
The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Bristol Bay Region, where sustained winds between 45 and 65 mph are expected, with gusts to 80 mph. This warning expires at 4pm Friday.
There are additional weather hazards along some of the coastal regions around the Norton Sound. Winter Storm Warnings currently in effect for the Southern Seward Peninsula Coast, St Lawrence Island & Bering Strait Coast, and the Yukon Delta.
Wind gusts between 50 and 65 mph are expected today, with up to six inches of additional snowfall. These warnings expire Saturday morning. The best travel day will be Christmas day but travel will still be difficult.
Along the Alaska Range and around Denali are the trouble spots in the Interior. The National Weather service has issued High Wind Warnings for both of these areas, which go into effect at 6pm Friday night.
South wind gusts to 75 mph are expected. For the rest of the Interior fair conditions are expected with no travel impacts. Although, there is an Air Quality Alert in effect for the Fairbanks and North Pole areas that expires at 5pm Friday.
North Slope: Green
Expect cooler temperatures that are closer to normal, but roughly five to ten degrees above average for this time of year. Winds will be relatively light, blowing from the south at about 10 mph. Expect these conditions to continue through Christmas day.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. Merry Christmas everyone!
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