Another round of heavy snow, rain pushes into Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage residents could see 4 to 8 inches of snow into Wednesday, with heavier amounts in some local areas
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 9:25 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Snow is coming to an end across Southcentral this morning, with low-level moisture leading to some areas holding onto freezing drizzle. While limited accumulation will stay with us through the morning and early afternoon, any ice or drizzle will create hazardous road conditions. Be patient as crews work to clear the roads, as several more rounds of snow stay with us through the week.

For the remainder of Tuesday, areas of wintry mix will taper off with some dry time into the afternoon hours. It’s here where you’ll want to get prepared for the next winter storm overnight into Wednesday. Make sure the snow blowers are gassed up, the shovels are at the ready and your vehicles are maintained.

Before we get to the incoming wintry mess, the same pattern driving our weather for Southcentral is leading to colder air to the north. Thanks to a persistent northerly flow from the North Slope to Western Alaska, bitter cold continues to remain the story. Areas of the Slope continue to see dangerous wind chill values as low as minus-70. While some improvement can be expected through the week, the bitter cold will remain an issue for at least the next week. One good thing coming out of the persistent northerly flow is a growing ice pack. Thanks to storms steering into Southcentral, ice in the Bering Sea continues to thicken undisturbed.

Bitter cold and nonstop snow has been the going trend for the entirety of February and it shows no signs of letting up.

Southcentral:

A developing low in the Pacific Ocean will set the stage for another round of moisture to round the ridge anchored in the northern Pacific. This ridge has been responsible for the ongoing snowy pattern for the state. While each storm rounding the ridge helps to briefly flatten it, the ridge continues to drive our weather pattern this week.

Outside of the lingering moisture this morning, we’re catching a break across Southcentral. The Valentine’s Day Storm brought 4-plus inches of snow across Southcentral, with some spots seeing slightly less. This has driven our seasonal total to 65 inches, which is nearly 10 inches above where we should be for this time of year. With the low maintaining origins in the Pacific Ocean, it will bring a surge of warmer air through the Aleutians, Southwest and into Southcentral. This will lead to a better shot of seeing wintry mix as we head through the day Wednesday.

With plenty of moisture rounding the ridge, heavy snow and rain will impact the morning commute for Wednesday. Winter weather advisories have already been issued for the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, where up to 7 inches of snow can be expected. For Anchorage it’s likely that we’ll see 4 to 8 inches of snow, with localized heavier amounts. Farther south along the Kenai Peninsula and through Prince William Sound, warmer air will win out and eat into the rain chances. However, this will still lead to many coastal regions easily seeing 2 to 4 inches of snow with localized heavier amounts. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for some areas across Southcentral seeing nearly 10 inches of snow by the time Wednesday draws to a close.

As we dig out of this upcoming winter storm, another round of snow and rain builds in from Thursday through the close of the week. This could easily bring many areas across Southcentral closing in on nearly 2.5 to 3 feet of snow for the month of February. Should this occur, this month will easily climb into the top five snowiest Februarys on record.

Southeast:

Areas of rain and snow continue to fall across the Panhandle, with most of the snow confined to Yakutat. It’s here where a winter weather advisory remains in place until noon, for an additional 1 to 3 inches of snow. Storm totals will likely amount to 6 inches by the end of the day. The rest of the Panhandle continues to see light rain showers, with up to a half an inch possible in some locations.

Much like Southcentral, some dry time will build in towards the afternoon and evening hours. This will allow for some draining to occur, before the next round of rain builds into the Panhandle. One good thing for the Panhandle is the placement of the ridge. Thanks to being on the eastern side of the ridge, Southeast isn’t getting slammed with the atmospheric river. This is allowing for each round of snow and rain to bring significantly lower amounts to the region. However, with this incoming round of moisture, the area could easily see 1 to 2 inches of rain. The combination of rain and snow melt will continue to keep minor flooding concerns around. In the days ahead the active weather will continue to keep more rain in the forecast.

Looking Ahead:

The pattern ahead continues to favor more snow, warmer conditions and even bouts of rainfall. The outlook through the end of the month actually favors a warming trend for the entire state. This will lead to hazardous road conditions remaining a threat for areas that see temperatures warm well above freezing, which looks to primarily stay confined to the southern half of the state.

Stay tuned to Alaska’s Weather Source as we continue to track the incoming storms across the region.

Have a safe Tuesday!

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