Freeze, thaw cycle with active storm track

Active storm track brings more wintry weather across western and southern Alaska this week.
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 7:04 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Police Department reported 11 minor accidents with 9 vehicles in distress Sunday morning. Secondary and neighborhood roads along with bridges, overpasses, and on-and-of ramps became very slick and slippery from a fresh layer of both ice and black ice as water from Saturday’s light rain and snowmelt froze in the pre-dawn hours. A repeat of icy slick streets and sidewalks will occur for Monday morning. It will be much more important to drive with extra caution as morning traffic returns to “normal” with children back at bus stops now that spring break has ended.

An intensifying storm system that brought hurricane force wind gusts to Shemya (75 mph) and Adak Island (74 mph) on Sunday will move toward the Bering Strait on Monday then into the Chukchi Sea on Tuesday, bringing more snow and strong, gusty winds across western Alaska. Numerous winter weather alerts are in effect for the hazardous, and difficult travel conditions that are expected to occur.

Southcentral will see additional snowfall as early as late Monday as energy from the Bering Sea redevelops into a new storm system over the Gulf of Alaska. Periods of snow are likely across the region for Tuesday and Wednesday. Similar to the recent storms this past Friday and Saturday, the Chugach Mountains will bear the brunt of the heavy snow and wind, though some winter weather could impact the Anchorage area. Even with the active weather, a gradual daytime thawing of the existing snowpack with refreezing occurring at night will continue as daytime temperatures rise into the middle 30s and overnight lows drop into the middle 20s.

Into Southeast, temperatures will largely stay in the 40s for both Monday and Tuesday with scattered rain showers along the coast and lower elevations, with wet snow occurring near 2,000 feet and above in elevation.

Oh, I almost forgot! The vernal equinox, or the beginning of Spring, begins at 1:24 p.m. Alaska time on Monday as the sun passes directly above the equator.