Saturday's snow an Anchorage record for Dec. 14

thanlon@adn.comDecember 14, 2013 

Update, 2 p.m. Sunday:

New snowfall totals for the recent storm, from the National Weather Service's morning update:

> Anchorage NWS office on Sand Lake Road: 13.1"

> Anchorage Hillside: 20.8"

> Lake Otis Parkway and 80th Avenue: 14.5"

> Girdwood: 26"

> Eagle River Nature Center: 13.4"

The 8.5" of snow the Weather Service measured Saturday at its Sand Lake office set a daily snowfall record with the most ever for Dec. 14, according to the agency's Facebook page.

Earlier story:

A winter storm Saturday blanketed Anchorage with the most snow it has seen so far this season.

The National Weather Service recorded 7.5 inches of snow late Saturday afternoon at Old Seward Highway and East Tudor Road. With snow still falling, the depth already topped the 7.3 inches recorded from the Nov. 10 snowstorm, said meteorologist Dave Stricklan.

Forecasters expected the storm to drop a total of 10 to 15 inches of snow on the city, Stricklan said. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory through 6 a.m. Sunday for Anchorage and the western Kenai Peninsula.

On the roads Saturday, heavy snowfall meant low visibility, but not necessarily an unusually large number of accidents, officials said.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, Anchorage police responded to 46 accidents, including one with injuries, 41 vehicles in distress and seven hit-and-runs, a police dispatcher said.

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said roads were slick in Homer and Alaska Sate Troopers received a few reports of stuck vehicles in Soldotna. But overall accident reports were few, she said, especially when compared to those from the ice storms earlier this winter.

"Maybe people are staying home," she said.

At Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria, traffic at the pick-up line remained steady, but the dining room was nearly vacant, said Megan McBride, customer service manager. Typically the restaurant is bustling, the waits are long and the noise volume is high, she said.

"The best indicator is, I can hear the music," McBride said. "On a Saturday night, that's very rare."

In Girdwood, Marc Vaugh described road conditions as "white-knuckle driving."

He said he kept an eye on a Seward Highway from his workplace window at the Tesaro gas station on the intersection of the highway and Alyeska Highway. He said he saw a plow truck pass every 30 or 40 minutes since he arrived around 1 p.m. Saturday.

"There's large volumes of traffic, it's consistently snowing, it's pretty bad," he said. "They're plowing as quick as possible, it's just one of those things."

Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.


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