Forecast: Storm may deliver 2 feet of snow to Girdwood, Turnagain Arm

thanlon@adn.comFebruary 17, 2014 

Update, 10:40 a.m. Tuesday:

A winter storm warning remains in effect for areas south of Anchorage, including Girdwood and Whittier, with heavy snow and reduced visibility.

Earlier story:

A winter storm may dump up to two feet of snow on some areas south of Anchorage, including Girdwood and Whittier, according to the National Weather Service. 

Forecasters expect a low-pressure system to move in from the southeast and sit over the eastern Kenai Peninsula for most of Tuesday. Heavy snowfall paired with strong winds prompted the Weather Service to issue a winter storm watch for the region, in effect from Tuesday morning into the night, said meteorologist Tom Pepe.

Snowfall will likely start late Monday evening and grow heavier by Tuesday afternoon, forecasters said. Areas north of Moose Pass will bear the brunt of the storm, with snow accumulation between one and two feet. Winds should pick up by the afternoon, hitting between 10 and 25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph from Whittier through the eastern Turnagain Arm, the weather service said.

By Wednesday morning, heavy snowfall will taper off to light snow, the agency said.

Anchorage residents may also see some snow, but much less. The weather service forecasted up to two inches of snow for parts of Anchorage Tuesday with a chance of snow Wednesday.

At the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, more snow is great news, said spokeswoman Jessica Pezak. She said "it's been snowing consistently" on the mountain for more than a week.

January weather wasn't necessarily kind to skiers and snowboarders, and warm temperatures closed Alyeska for seven days. But the lifts have since reopened and snow depth measured at 49 inches mid-mountain Monday.

There's no set date for the opening of the North Face and other double black diamond trails, but Pezak said they just need the weather "to keep doing as it's doing right now."

"It seems like winter has finally arrived," she said.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.

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