Next weather maker to bring wintry mix to Southcentral
It's been a wet and blustery day across Southcentral, with heavy rain falling across the valley. Thanks to a push of warmer air we've seen all rain across the region, outside of a few isolated spots along the Talkeetna Mountains. That trend will stay with us through the rest of the evening as the final push of rain exits Southcentral. Winds will also die down through the night, as a cold front drags through the region. This will usher in the return to colder air in Southcentral and will set the stage for our next weather maker.
Saturday will start off on the nice and pleasant side before another round of rain returns to Southcentral. Unlike today's weather maker, this one will set the stage for snow and rain all across the region. With colder air steadily filtering into the area, we'll see snow levels drop to near 1000 feet across Southcentral and portions of the Kenai. This not only means a wintry mix for many, but also the first snowfall of the season. Rain looks to be the predominant form of precipitation for the first half of the day, before the colder air wins over and snow mixes in. While lower elevations will only see a wintry mix with no accumulation expected, Upper Hillside and higher elevations will see a changeover to all snow. It's possible that Upper Hillside could see 1-2 inches of snow with this system, with even higher amounts in the Chugach Mountains. The snow looks to come to an end into the nigh Saturday and Sunday with the clouds slowly decreasing.
If you're a snow lover you'll want to enjoy the snow while it last, because sunshine returns late Sunday and into early Monday. With afternoon highs climbing into the lower 40s both days, any snow will melt, with shaded areas on the Hillside likely staying white.
Gear up for the coldest stretch of weather we've seen since early April, as overnight lows will dip below freezing through the next week with additional rounds of wintry precipitation likely. With a few rounds of snow in the forecast you may be wondering when we typically see our average first snowfall (average defined as first measurable snowfall of .10"). Historically speaking our average first falls during mid-October. It's not out of the ordinary though to see winter storms this early in the year, as September of 2015 saw a wintry mix by the end of the month.
If you see snow send pictures to the weather team!
Have a great weekend!
-Meteorologist Aaron Morrison