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First widespread frost of the season likely this weekend

Clearer skies and calmer winds will play a huge role in weekend lows
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:55 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The last time Anchorage fell to near-freezing conditions was in early May when there were still pockets of snow across Southcentral. Back then, temperatures were still easily falling near or below freezing, but temperatures have been on the warmer side since then. However, that changes this weekend as the coldest air of the season looks to settle into Southcentral. This will potentially bring the first widespread frost or freeze of the season across Southcentral, with the valley seeing the better shot of below-freezing temperatures. Before that colder air arrives though, we’ve got to get rid of the clouds and the rain that continue to impact the region.

We’re just over two weeks through the month of September and 1.11 inches of rain has been recorded at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. This wet trend continues what has been well over a month of wet conditions across the region, which finally looks to end. The area of low pressure situated over Kodiak Island is set to move off to the east into the central Gulf of Alaska throughout the day, and as it does so, we’ll see rain gradually stop. While Anchorage and surrounding areas have seen most of the rain come to an end, spot showers can’t be ruled out throughout the day. The heaviest rain will stay confined to coastal regions, where Seward into Prince William Sound could see 1 to 2 inches of rain. For all of us, expect the rain to come to an end through Friday as the rain shifts into the panhandle.

The exiting of the rain will open the door for clearer skies and cooler conditions in the days ahead. Clouds will begin to slowly clear out through the day Friday, becoming mostly clear to clear through the night Friday. As clearer conditions arrive, temperatures will still stay near 40 degrees and winds will be gusty out of the north up to 20 mph. It’s these winds that will transport the colder air, just in time for the weekend.

As of now, Anchorage is forecast to dip near 34 degrees. The valley will see colder conditions, which is where a freeze is possible. I’m holding off on saying likely, for now, because when the winds die down and how much cloud coverage remains will play a key role in how low our temperatures fall. Even with that said, it’s looking more and more likely that the region is gearing up for our first widespread frost or freeze of the season. Now is the time to go ahead and prepare for those colder nights if you have any vegetation or plants as the growing season comes to an end.

On average, Anchorage typically sees our first freeze on September 24th. So even if we don’t see a freezing temperature this weekend, we’re knocking on the door of colder mornings.

Fall officially begins next week on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Have a terrific Thursday!

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