Temperatures soar above freezing threatening Southcentral's snowpack
Temperatures held steady in the lower 20s through most of Friday, with many locations remaining on the dry side. The only exception was the morning snow that quickly exited and coastal regions of Southcentral. The brief cold spell that settled into the region certainly made it feel and look like Alaska, but warming temperatures into the weekend will threaten the snowpack that we have established over the past few days.
Temperatures will rise through the night Friday, as a strong southerly flow becomes established. This flow will not only pull in warmer air but plenty of moisture into the region. We'll keep flurries in the forecast through Saturday morning and then as the southerly winds pump in more warmth and moisture, we'll see a wintry mix move into the area. Snow will initially fall across the Kenai with many areas seeing an additional 2-3" before the freezing line erodes. As it continues to drift north, we'll continue to see the changeover to a wintry mix.
While temperatures will only climb above freezing briefly Saturday, slick spots will still be a concern. This comes as the wintry mix arrives into the evening and freezes to roads. The wintry mix will stick around through most of Saturday night before a changeover to snow is expected into Sunday morning. While this will only add to the snow we have on the ground, the big concern comes in the following days.
The biggest surge of warm air arrives Sunday into Monday, where afternoon highs will top out in the upper 30s to near 40 degrees. At these temperatures, we easily could see an inch of snow lost per day, and with a snow depth of 6" that means we'd only lose 2". However, the upper-level winds point to a significant surge of moisture into Monday, which would see up a rain event for the area. This would not only mean even warmer weather for the region, but rain increases the speed at which snow melts.
To sum everything up, this weekend we thaw out with significant slick spots possible as warmer air moves in. The most dangerous time to drive will be in the early morning hours and during the night when temperatures will be hovering near freezing.
- Have a great start to your weekend
Meteorologist Aaron Morrison