Thanksgiving travel troubles in Southcentral and Southeast

Next round of bitter cold arrives this weekend
Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 10:58 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - For the first time in nearly two weeks, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport officially hit 20 degrees late Wednesday night. The much-welcomed “warm up” was courtesy of a slow-moving storm moving from the northcentral Gulf of Alaska Wednesday and into the Kenai Peninsula early Thanksgiving morning.

Locations from Cordova to Whittier, westward to Seward and down to Soldotna have received several inches of fresh snow in the past two days, and an additional half a foot at least is expected into early Friday morning. Sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph have also accompanied the storm, with occasional gusts in the 30 to 40 mph range, which prompted blizzard warnings and a winter weather advisory for the Peninsula. These strong winds can easily blow and drift around the powdery, fluffy snow easily, causing additional reduced visibility. Those who have travel plans anywhere across the Peninsula for Thanksgiving should allow plenty of extra travel time to safely reach their destination.

In Southeast, the next of what seems to have been a very long line of winter storms will bring another 1 to 2 inches of rain for central parts of the region. Much like the most recent storm systems of late, enough cold air — even at sea level — will be in place for most of this moisture to fall as snow from a line between Juneau and Haines. The snow could be heavy at times overnight and into Friday. For this reason, winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Juneau.

Both storms will loosen their grip on these regions heading into the weekend. This will allow another surge of cold, arctic air to build back into Southcentral. Daytime highs in Anchorage on Saturday and Sunday may barely climb into the low single digits above zero, and that’s with full sunshine. Under mainly clear skies and relatively light winds, overnight lows will once again easily fall into the mid-single digits below zero in town, with teens below zero for those typically colder locations on the east and north sides of Anchorage.

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