Anchorage sees snowiest December day in more than 2 decades

Parts of Southcentral have seen up to, if not more than, a foot of snow
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 8:58 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gas up the snow blowers and get the heating pad for the back-breaking work ready. Many across Southcentral Alaska are waking up to one of the snowiest Decembers we’ve seen in years.

For Anchorage, it’s the snowiest day the metropolitan area has seen since 1999.

RankSnow AmountsDate
115.6 InchesDecember 29, 1955
215.1 InchesDecember 4, 1998
313.4 InchesDecember 28, 1955
412.2 InchesDecember 20, 1999
510.4 InchesDecember 6, 2022

Since midnight, an additional inch of snow fell across the Anchorage Bowl, bringing the snow accumulation since Monday to 13.2 inches. The heaviest snow fell through the overnight hours thanks to a deformation band that settled in over the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, Anchorage Bowl and Western Kenai Peninsula. Deformation bands form on the west to northwest side of the low and tend to lend to enhanced snowfall rates. It’s in these areas where the heaviest snow in the storm is expected to accumulate. For many across Southcentral, the snow has been falling since Monday, with up to a foot or more of snow.

While the heaviest snow has lightened up across the region, we’ll see the potential for additional light accumulation into the afternoon and evening hours, as the band fizzles out. You’ll want to budge plenty of time to get where you are going, as roads will be difficult to navigate at times. Practice patience and kindess today, as commuters hit the road and snow plows work on making roads safer.

As the area of low pressure pulls of to the south and east, the snow will end in Southcentral. We’ll likely see some snow linger through parts of the Copper River Basin, where we could see a few more inches of snow. For all across Southcentral, as the snow ends, colder air will spill back into the state. Afternoon highs are expected to drop into the single digits by this weekend, with overnight lows dipping below zero.

The combination of snow, winds and mountainous terrain will also lead to considerable avalanche danger across the Chugach Mountains. Use extreme caution when outside today and stay safe.

Residents digging out after heavy snowfall hits Southcentral Alaska

SOUTHEAST:

A widespread mix of rain and snow will build into the Panhandle for the rest of the day. While most of the region will see a cold rain, areas across the Northern Inner Channels could see some snow accumulation. A winter weather advisory is in effect for both Hyder and Haines through Thursday morning. Haines could see 3 to 6 inches of snow with up to a quarter of an inch of freezing rain, with Hyder expected to see anywhere from 10 to 13 inches of snow. The vast majority of the snow for Southeast Alaska will occur overnight Wednesday into Thursday, as colder air surges into the Panhandle. While some areas of wintry mix look to continue through Thursday, a full changeover to all snow should occur by Friday.

STATEWIDE:

Outside of Southcentral, the big story will be significant snow for parts of Interior Alaska. A winter weather advisory and winter storm warning are in effect for parts of the Interior through Thursday night. Anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of snow is expected, with difficult travel conditions and reduced visibility due to fog. As the snow comes to an end, we’ll see temperatures drop back below zero for highs into Saturday.

Looking ahead to next week, another storm looks to move through the Bering Sea. This will open the door for warmer temperatures and another chance of snow as we welcome in next week

Have a safe and snowy Wednesday!