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Temperatures warm slightly as snow arrives in Southcentral

November cold snap continues with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below normal.
Cold snap continues with temperatures 15 to 20 degrees below normal across Alaska
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:43 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Temperatures have consistently been below normal in Anchorage for the last two weeks with temperatures close to 20 degrees below normal for the past seven days. Typical high temperatures this time of year are in the mid to upper 20s, with lows only in the teens, and we’re not even seeing high temperatures in the teens.

Part of the reason for the extreme cold can be found in the upper-level winds. The Jet Stream is well to our south, bringing active storms to the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska, but for most of Alaska, we’ve been storm-free, clear, dry, and cold. That will change slightly this week as a storm moves into Prince William Sound. That storm is already bringing heavy snow to the coastal areas of Southcentral, and lighter snow across the Kenai Peninsula and into Anchorage.

In addition to heavy snow in Whittier Monday, the wind was consistently gusting between 30 and 50 mph. This prevented the MV Kennicott Alaska Marine Highway System Ferry from being able to dock at the Whittier Terminal. The ferry was due into Whittier early Monday morning but had to wait out the winds in Passage Canal, not able to dock until about 9 p.m.

The mountains will continue to block most of the snow from pushing into Anchorage, but if you are traveling through Turnagain Arm or Turnagain Pass you should be prepared for winter driving conditions.

This storm will be followed by another Wednesday that will keep Southcentral mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers through Thursday. The return to active weather this week does mean a slight boost to our temperatures, with high temperatures likely returning to the teens near Anchorage, although that is still about 10 degrees below normal.

Southeast will also see significant snow from both of these storms. Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in effect for Wednesday into Thursday for 3-5″ of snow near Juneau and Gustavus, and 5-10″ of snow further north.

We’ll likely clear out again this weekend, with temperatures returning to the single digits during the day and back below zero overnight.

Stay warm!

-Chief Meteorologist Melissa Frey

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