Enjoy a sunny, but cold, Saturday ahead of a very snowy Sunday

Enjoy a sunny, but cold, Saturday ahead of a very snowy Sunday.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 8:05 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - High pressure will allow for one more day of sunshine and quiet weather to start the weekend. It’ll be a cold start, however, as a clear sky, light winds, and fresh snow on the ground allow for nearly ideal “radiational cooling” to take place overnight into the hours just before sunrise late Saturday morning. That’s when all of the heat (18 degrees of it officially at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Friday) radiates back into the atmosphere, causing temperatures to plummet into subzero territory.

As warmth and moisture stream in ahead of our next, well-advertised storm system, temperatures will rebound nicely into the middle teens for highs on Saturday. In fact, it’s likely that the high temperature comes closer to midnight rather than mid- to late afternoon. Temperatures will continue to warm into the 20s on Sunday as snow overspreads Southcentral from west to east in the morning. The snow will become steady, and possibly heavy at times, late Sunday, through the overnight, and right on into Monday morning as it draws in plenty of Pacific moisture from just north of the Hawaiian Islands. Snow will taper off across the region Monday evening, or very early Tuesday morning, at the latest.

After all is said and done, here’s a look at preliminary snowfall totals that could be left in the wake of the storm:

Anchorage: 10 inches westside to 16 inches (at least) on the Hillside

Mat-Su Valley and western Kenai Peninsula: 8 to 16 inches

Higher elevations of the eastern Kenai and western Prince William Sound: 1 to 2 feet (at least).

Needless to say, the incoming heavy snow will easily make for extremely difficult travel conditions, as the area has yet to completely dig out and clean up following the record snowfall from earlier in the week. As a result, the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Anchorage issued a Winter Storm Watch for nearly all of Southcentral for Sunday afternoon into Monday afternoon.

Stay tuned to Alaska’s Weather Source on-air, online, and on-demand over the weekend for updates on this next significant winter storm.