Temperatures set to take a nosedive for the weekend

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 11:22 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After experiencing temperatures near 20 degrees the past couple of days, early morning “Black Friday” shoppers needed to wear an extra layer or two of clothing in order to be prepared for any outdoor lines at their favorite retail location.

At 5 a.m., thermometers from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the Anchorage Bowl and the Kenai Peninsula were reading temperatures in the single digits, which were roughly 8 to 12 degrees colder than just 24 hours ago on Thanksgiving morning. Additionally, for the second day in a row, Anchorage’s official high temperature was recorded just after midnight, with temperatures gradually dropping throughout the day. Both of these occurrences indicate that another round of very cold, arctic air is making its return into Southcentral. Hope you enjoyed that “brief” warm-up while we had it.

In addition to those warmer temperatures, which oddly enough were still cold enough to make Thanksgiving 2021 the coldest one in 10 years, a compact, slow-moving and very persistent low pressure system moved out of Prince William Sound and across the Kenai Peninsula, bringing a couple inches of fresh, powdery snow to these areas, as well as the Anchorage Bowl. This same system has now moved back over Prince William Sound, taking much of the steady light snows with it.

Northerly winds on the backside of this low will also help to accelerate the arrival of the next round of very cold air into Southcentral. Anchorage will easily see temperatures fall into the middle single digits below zero early Saturday morning, then barely climb above zero that afternoon.

Along with such cold temperatures usually comes bright blue, sunny skies, and forecast model outputs suggest that will be the case this weekend. Even with plenty of sunshine in the sky, if the current forecast of 3 degrees on Saturday — and 1 degree on Sunday — verifies, then those readings will set a new record for the lowest high temperature reading recorded for that calendar day.

The good news in all of this is that this next surge of cold air won’t be as long-lived as the one that followed the Veterans Day snowstorm. Forecast model guidance suggests that temperatures will once again warm back into the middle teens by the middle part of next week, just in time to welcome in December.

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