Widespread snow returns to much of Alaska

Highest snowfall totals will fall through the Copper River Basin and Alaska Range
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:33 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Snow has made a return to Southcentral Alaska, following several days of quiet and sunny weather.

Multiple areas of the state remain under a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning, as the system itself lifts north through the day. Accompanying the moisture is a surge of warmer air, which will lead to many areas from Southwest Alaska and parts of Southcentral seeing a wintry mix.

As a result, roads will be hazardous at times, even in areas that manage to stay all snow. This is largely due to temperatures today remaining at or above freezing. The closer the temperature hovers near freezing, the heavier and wetter the snowflakes are. This not only allows snow to become more compact, but leads to slicker road conditions compared to dry snow.

Snow accumulation will vary greatly across Southcentral today, largely due to the proximity of the warm air and where the heavier snow sets up.

  • For those along the Kenai Peninsula, up to 2 inches of snow can be expected. Higher amounts would occur, but the warmer air moving into the region will lead to a changeover to a wintry mix into the afternoon, eating into the snow accumulation.
  • Through Prince William Sound, upwards of 5 inches of snow is possible. The highest amounts will occur from Valdez to Thompson Pass, with areas like Cordova and Whittier seeing significantly lower amounts.
  • The Matanuska-Susitna Valley will see 2 to 8 inches of snow, with the lowest amounts occurring from Wasilla to Palmer. Areas north of Wasilla along the Parks Highway and the foothills of the Talkeetna Mountains could easily see over half a foot of snow into Thursday morning.
  • The Copper River Basin remains under a winter weather advisory through Friday morning, where up to a foot of snow is possible.

While most of the snow will taper off today, some scattered activity is expected to carry on into Thursday. However, with warmer air building into Southcentral as the week draws to a close, any lingering moisture will transition to a wintry mix through the day Thursday. The only exception will be for much of the Copper River Basin, which should still have plenty of cold air locked in place.

As Southcentral begins to dry out, the return to wetter weather arrives in Southeast Alaska. This comes following several days of sunny and cool conditions. While some afternoon showers can be expected today, Thursday night into Friday will bring the better fetch of moisture into the region.

Winter weather will impact a large portion of the state and the Iditarod Trail through the close of the week, before another drying trend arrives into next week. It’s looking likely, following several weeks of warm weather, that the state will begin to see a cooling trend. For Southcentral we could be talking about highs falling below freezing by the middle of next week.

Take it slow and remain safe!

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