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Arctic air surges into the state as summer comes to an end

Portions of the Slope could see up to 6 inches of snow by Sunday
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 7:23 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Chillier temperatures continue to spill into Southcentral, with even colder mornings just days away. The recent rains have come to an end across Southcentral, with only lingering showers across Prince William Sound.

Although we are drying out, some sprinkles can’t be ruled out through the first part of the day, until clearing begins to take hold. It’s this clearing, combined with a northerly flow that will set the stage for some cool mornings.

Starting today, clouds clear out and temperatures rebound quite nicely into the mid 50s. However, some areas of fog this morning and thicker cloud coverage this morning could limit just how much sun we see today. Even with that said, a clearing trend will carry us into the weekend.

While the coldest air of the season looks to stay well off to our north, we will tap into it here in Southcentral. A combination of the colder air and radiational cooling will lead to temperatures Saturday night into Sunday could yield our first widespread frost/freeze of the season. While Ted Stevens will likely hover several degrees above freezing, East Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley and portions of the Kenai will easily see temperatures near freezing.

You’ll want to take the necessary precautions if you have significant vegetation outside and maybe even go ahead and get in colder weather mode, as next week continues the trend of cold mornings.

Meanwhile, across the rest of the state snow and colder air is becoming more and more common. This weekend, portions of the Interior could see the first snow of the season. While it will be light, it’s a sign of our transition continuing into cooler weather.

The greatest threat for snow will remain along the Slope, where additional light snow can be expected for Utqiagvik, Deadhorse and surrounding villages. However, a concentration of snow showers could bring up to half a foot of snow by Sunday for extreme western portions of the Slope.

Prior to next week’s colder weather, a storm drifting to the northeast away from the Aleutians will merge with an Arctic trough digging southeast across the state. While most of the rain and winds from the storm will primarily affect coastal regions, a chance for showers exists for Anchorage and surrounding areas.

As the trough of colder air pushes through Southcentral, any lingering moisture could yield some snow flurries or light snow across the region. However, this will likely only occur for portions of the Copper River Basin and higher elevations of the Chugach. A small possibility exists that parts of the hillside could see some flurries into Tuesday morning.

Through the middle of next week, lows fall near freezing with afternoon highs in the upper 40s with more sunshine.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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