Strong winter storm affecting the entire state of Alaska

Up to 2 feet of snow could fall across parts of Southcentral
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:43 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s not often that one storm leads to multiple winter weather alerts across the entire state of Alaska, but that’s exactly what is occurring across the state Monday morning.

From Southeast to the Brooks Range, many areas are under winter storm warnings, where 8 to 24 inches of snow could fall, with some localized heavier amounts. This storm, which has the parent low situated just off the coast of the Northwest Arctic Borough, is also bringing noticeably warmer temperatures to the region. From the 30s along the Southcentral coast, to temperatures in the 20s along the slope, warmer temperatures are being felt by all for the first time in more than a month.

Flooding is also being reported in western Alaska, as water has flowed over the bank of the Yukon River. This has lead to roads flooded in the villages of Kotlik and Emmonak. While the water is expected to recede through the day, strong southerly winds could push ice ashore and lead to more flooding for parts of Southwest Alaska.

Here in Southcentral, Chinook winds have warmed temperatures above freezing, creating a wintry mess across the region. With temperatures expected to stay above freezing through the day, roads will remain icy and any precipitation that falls will be a light rain or wintry mix. However, for portions of the Susitna Valley, Portage Valley, Valdez and areas north of Seward, snow is likely for most of the day. It’s here where a winter storm warning will easily bring up to two-plus feet of snow into Tuesday.

Anchorage, Matanuska Valley and portions of the Kenai Peninsula will stay largely dry through the day Monday. Southeasterly winds are eating away at precipitation chances, thanks to the rain shadow. With that said, plenty of tropical moisture is available, so some light rain or a wintry mix could fall for brief periods of time through the day. Take it easy on the roads.

Through the evening hours, a new low that is forming near the Peninsula will set the stage for the deep freeze to return to Southcentral. As the low rapidly moves off to the north and east, it will pull in colder air to the region. This will lead to a changeover back to snow for all of Southcentral, in which Anchorage and surrounding areas will see 3 to 6 inches of snow, with higher amounts along the hillside. This rapid drop in temperatures will also lead to many roads refreezing. Go ahead and prepare for a hazardous and at times difficult Tuesday morning commute.

The snow will gradually come to an end through the day Tuesday, with snow continuing to build into Southeast. In advance of this snow, much of the Panhandle is already under a winter weather advisory or winter storm warning. While amounts will be nowhere near the 2 feet that parts of the state will see, it’s still possible that up to 8-plus inches of snow will still fall on the region.

Looking ahead through the rest of the week, temperatures will continue the wild rollercoaster ride. We’ll fall into the teens for highs by Wednesday, with a very brief uptick in temperatures by week’s end, before bitter cold Arctic air makes a comeback. By Saturday and Sunday, temperatures fall back into the single digits for highs, with overnight lows falling below zero.

Have a safe Monday!

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