Rain to transition back to snow, as bitter cold arrives into the weekend

Highs into the weekend will remain 15 to 25 degrees below average for Southcentral
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:30 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Scattered to periodic areas of rain and snow are with us this morning, with winds through the night keeping temperatures well above freezing. While this has led to some melting on the roads, we’ll also see an increased chance for slick and icy conditions across Southcentral. Use caution throughout the day, as roads could be difficult to navigate. Winds could also prove difficult, as we continue to hold onto winds out of the south anywhere from 25 to 40 mph. Some of the highest wind gusts will be along the Hillside.

A trough digging through the state will lead to bitter cold temperatures returning to Southcentral. While the coldest air is still at least 36 hours away, we’ll begin to tap into the Arctic air later today. As a result, expect temperatures to slowly drop back near or below freezing into the early evening hours. It’s here where locations that have been all rain or a wintry mix will begin to see a slow transition back to snow. While no significant accumulation can be expected, it’s likely we’ll see a good 1 to 4 inches of snow tonight into Friday for much of Southcentral. The only exception will be for areas north of Talkeetna which remain under a winter weather advisory. An additional 6 to 14 inches of snow looks likely for this location, with the heaviest occurring through the first part of Thursday.

We’ll see temperatures drop back into the teens and 20s through the night, with refreezing on the roads expected for many locations. This will lead to icy conditions for your Friday commute in areas where standing water remains on the roads. If you haven’t finished your shoveling of the snow, now is the time to do so. With this thaw/freeze we are experiencing, expect the snow to become rock-hard into the weekend. Temperatures from Saturday through Monday drop into the lower 10s, with overnight lows near zero. It’ll be the coldest air we’ve seen since the beginning of this year. The good news is we’ll see at least 3+ days of quiet weather with some sunshine in the forecast.

While Southcentral is gearing up for a bitter blast of Arctic Air, the jet stream continues to drive storms into the panhandle. We’ll keep with daily rain in the forecast, with typical areas of the Haines/Klondike Highway and Hyder seeing the potential for snow accumulation. Winds will also stick around through the day for Southeast, with the highest gusts through Lynn Canal and Taiya Inlet. While rain can be expected through the first part of the weekend, the same trough digging through mainland Alaska will drive colder air into Southeast. This will lead to highs dropping near or below freezing at the start of your Thanksgiving week. This means many areas in Southeast will see the first true snow potential for the season as we welcome in Sunday and Monday.

Looking ahead, the bitter cold snap will be brief. By the start of next week temperatures begin to warm back into the mid to upper 20s. Snow does look to make a return to the region, although how much will need to be determined as the event draws closer.

Stay warm and drive safe.