Strong storm targets Southcentral; Snow likely for parts Wednesday night
Anchorage saw the coldest high in over 7 months, as afternoon highs only climb into the mid-30s under mostly cloudy skies. Even with that said, it was still well-above average, which is continuing a trend that has held for most of the year. Currently, Anchorage is on track to have the warmest fall on record, which is not good for a region that should already be in the deep freeze.
At the cost of these warm temperatures, is the lack of snow that Anchorage has seen. Currently the area is on track for one of the longest starts for any measurable snow in Anchorage. So far this year, the area has only seen 0.2" of "snow". It's in quotations because most of that fell as sleet and freezing rain. At this point in the season, Anchorage should have already established its snow pack for the winter season, but that hasn't been the case lately.
There is some good news for snow lovers though, as a storm system looks to bring a decent chance for snow for parts of Southcentral. The storm system that looks to impact us is still well to our south in the Pacific Ocean, but as it moves north it will interact with some cold air. The aforementioned cold air is currently bottled up in the Interior and is set to move south over the next 24-36 hours. As it spills over the Alaskan Range, it will interact with the moisture moving in from the south. This is the perfect set-up for a snow event for parts of Southcentral.
For now it looks like the Copper River Basin, areas north of Palmer/Wasilla, and higher elevations of the mountains will see snow. Elsewhere will depend upon the reach of the colder air. Right now Anchorage will likely see a mix of freezing rain and snow, as a layer of warm air looks to ride in from the south. If this occurs and is thicker than anticipated, we'll likely see more of a freezing rain event.
While the details will be ironed out over the next 24 hours, it is looking likely we could be dealing with our first significant storm of the winter season. What we see and how cold we get will all depend upon how far the cold air spills into the Anchorage Bowl.
For now enjoy another day of seeing temperatures in the upper 30s, with a few peaks of sunshine into Tuesday.
Have a great workweek!
-Meteorologist Aaron Morrison