Heavy rain, snow make for hazardous travel conditions through Southcentral
Warmer air moving into Southcentral will lead to freezing rain through Wednesday afternoon
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage is currently dealing with the snowiest season through the middle of February since the 2011-2012 season. This nonstop snowy pattern continues to lead to significant impacts across the region, with the current storm bringing heavy snow, freezing rain, visibility issues and difficult travel conditions.
A ridge of high pressure to our south continues to influence the stormy weather pattern. The ridge is acting as a track, allowing moisture to ride up and over the ridge, which Southcentral Alaska happens to lie directly in the path of. While the heaviest of the snow that has been building into Southcentral has tapered of, plenty of moisture is still being tapped into. This combined with warming temperatures through the day will continue to lead to freezing rain concerns and dangerously slick roads.
The threats will vary depending on where you live, with the impacts decreasing as you near the Gulf of Alaska.
Four to 8 inches of snow will fall through the day, with localized heavier amounts. While some freezing rain can be expected, accumulating snow on roads will provide the greatest threat. A brief window of rain looks possible late morning/early afternoon, before a changeover back to snow will occur.
Copper River Basin
This area will easily see the greatest amount of snow accumulation in the 6- to 12-inch range. Limited freezing rain will occur, as the warmest air will remain well south of the area. However, any low level moisture could fall as light freezing rain.
The area will see 3-5 inches of snow, with up to 0.15 inches of freezing rain. This freezing rain, combined with the already hazardous road conditions, will lead to a commute that will be difficult to navigate at times. Several hours of freezing drizzle/rain is possible this afternoon, before another changeover to snow occurs Wednesday evening.
Prince William Sound
Most of the sound will see rain as the dominant precipitation. However, areas such as Whittier and Valdez will see some heavy snow and a wintry mix. For both of these areas, 2-4 inches of snow is possible.
While a winter weather advisory remains in effect for the Western Kenai Peninsula, the threat diminishes the further south you head. Much of the Kenai will see up to 2 inches of snow, with freezing rain around 0.20 inches. Roads will be impassable at times, so use caution through the day.
As the moisture slides to the east and rounds the ridge, Southeast will gear up for a wet and windy afternoon. While the system will have weakened as it rounds the ridge, there will still be plenty of moisture for parts of the Panhandle to pick up an inch of rain. A brief shot of snow exists for Skagway and Haines, where some accumulation is possible. However, warmer air returning to the region will eventually lead to a wintry mix or rain event.
Our next storm is already in the process of lifting through the Aleutians. While the low will slowly weaken as it pulls to the east, it will do so pushing more moisture into Southcentral Alaska. As of now, it looks possible we could see another challenging day Thursday afternoon into Friday morning. Commuters should once again prepare for areas of freezing rain and snow.
Stay tuned to Alaska’s Weather Source as the upcoming weather pattern continues to feature more active weather.
Copyright 2022 KTUU. All rights reserved.