Sunshine today, rain tomorrow, snow in the forecast...
You read that right, snow. Cold air arrives with a monster storm moving into western Alaska and it might just drop temperatures enough to see snow fly. We likely won't get any accumulation, but it's been a while since we've seen the white stuff in Anchorage.
Thursday will be warm enough that you might read the headline and first paragraph and think, nope— that definitely won't happen. And you're right, somewhat. The ground is warm enough and the sun angle is still high enough that we likely won't see any accumulation as the snow flies. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's talk about what gets us there.
Between two storms, sunshine dominated Thursday morning. Sunshine and light wind will help us climb to the low-50s by the afternoon. And that might be the warmest day we see until next year!
Clouds will build overnight as the storm all the way out in the Bering Sea strengthens and edges closer. The storm is already prompting coastal flood warnings and advisories along the west coast as it draws near. Strong wind over a large expanse of open water pushes it up against shore, prompting the flood concern.
As the storm moves on shore, it will spread snow and rain across the state. Heavy rain will fall in lower elevations, snow in the mountains. It will start adding up Friday, and a few locations are set to get quite a bit. The Brooks Range, Upper Koyukuk Valley, and Alaska Range will get 8-12 inches by the time it comes to an end.
The rain starts in Anchorage Friday morning. Showers will pick up right around the morning commute along with some gusty southerly wind. We have a decent chance at picking up a couple tenths of an inch of rain by the time the first wave comes to an end. The showers along the front remain on the warm side. We stay near 50 here in Anchorage.
But temperatures quickly drop. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday afternoon, as we struggle to climb out of the low-40s. Then drop as the cold air moves in. Temperatures will drop fast enough overnight that if it is still raining Sunday morning, we will likely see some snow flakes mixing in. Accumulation is far fetched as ground temperatures are still well above freezing.
The cold is here to stay in the extended forecasts. If we don't see snow in the air this weekend, there are more chances in the coming week as temperatures trend well below normal.
Enjoy the sun while you can!
-Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo