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Bitter cold to the north, with snow to the south

Multiple winter weather alerts are in effect across the state through midweek
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 7:57 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An impressive 2 feet of snow fell near Homer from Thanksgiving into the weekend, with light snow still expected to fall through Monday.

The heavy snow was due in large part to an area of snow banding, that produced localized heavier amounts of snow across southern portions of the Kenai Peninsula. This mesoscale event is pretty typical in affecting the intensity and magnitude of the snowfall, which is why areas of Homer saw significant snowfall. As this band of snow has come to an end over Cook Inlet, another area of snow is drifting into Southcentral.

There’s good news with this snow pushing into Southcentral, as it’s accompanied by some warmer air. This will bring a brief warming trend to Southcentral through the middle of the week, before the rollercoaster ride carries us back into the single digits for highs. As the low just south of the Peninsula continues to drift to the northeast, we’ll see snow intensify across Portage Valley, Whittier and into Thompson Pass. It’s here where winter weather advisories and winter storm watches have been issued. Up to a foot, if not more, of snow is likely through Tuesday evening, as the heavier snow builds into the region.

While the heaviest snow will remain fixated on coastal regions, further west near Seward and Homer, lighter snowfall totals can be expected. On average, anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of snow can be expected for these regions. Inland areas of Southcentral will see on and off flurries and light snow showers, amounting to less than an inch or two of snow by Wednesday.

As a result of the ongoing snow across Southcentral, there remains a considerable threat for avalanches. It’s highly advised that you avoid the backcountry until conditions improve, once the stormy weather exits the region. Adding to the mix of warmer weather and breezy conditions over the next few days, the threat for avalanches could be caused by multiple factors.

As for the warming trend that Southcentral will see, expect highs in the upper 20s and lower 30s for coastal regions, with temperatures near Anchorage to top out near 20 into Tuesday. You’ll want to enjoy the “warmth”, as temperatures take a nosedive back into the single digits by Friday.

Statewide, bitter cold continues to remain an issue. Multiple areas remain under wind chill advisories and warnings, where wind chills could fall as low as minus-60. This is driven by the cold air that’s funneling through the state between the aforementioned low and an area of high pressure near Russia. The gustiest winds remain along the southwest coast, where the wind chill warning remains in place through noon. These windy conditions are leading to reduced visibility, blowing snow and dangerous wind chills. While little is expected in a warming trend through the week, winds are expected to die down from Wednesday onward.

Into Southeast, multiple winter weather advisories have been issued, as anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected to fall from Juneau to Hyder. As a result of daily highs above freezing and overnight lows near freezing, we’ll see a transition back and forth between rain and snow through the next few days. The only exception will be near Haines, the Haines Highway and Klondike Highway where all snow is likely. These areas will see heavier amounts of snowfall as each system pushes through.

While highs remain above freezing through at least Wednesday, temperatures take a tumble back into the 20s by week’s end. The return of the cold will carry us into December, as the outlook ahead continues to point to below average temperatures, with a slight chance for increase snow chances.

Have a safe and Happy Monday!

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