Alaskans who welcomed spring last week got a healthy dose of snow-covered reality thanks to a “classic, long-duration” winter storm. The National Weather Service's prediction grew from 13 inches up to 15 inches for some parts of Anchorage. The official total, Monday afternoon, for this storm was 12.6 inches -- the largest snowfall of the season -- but shy of the largest single-day accumulation for the winter. That record, thus far, is 8.6 inches, and came on two days, Nov. 3 and Dec. 12, 2012.
If the forecast holds up, the single day record for this season was expected to fall as another system moved into the Anchorage Bowl from the Kenai Peninsula, potentially bringing another 3 inches before midnight.
Winter weather advisories were in effect across many parts of the state Monday, including for much of Southcentral Alaska including the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula. A blizzard warning was in effect for Whittier, Seward and Western Prince William Sound. Fish said Whittier reported winds of 35 to 40 miles per hour blowing in the area.
As of Monday morning, 69.4 inches of snow had fallen in Alaska's largest city this winter, well below last year's recording breaking 134 inches. Monday's snow puts the total inch count slightly above the 30 year average of 68 inches for this time of year according to the National Weather Service.
The heavy snowfall cancelled University of Alaska Anchorage afternoon classes. The Anchorage School District said a decision may not come on classes for Tuesday until 5:30 a.m.
So far 76.2 inches of snow has fallen in Anchorage this winter, above average, but below last year's season total of 134.5 inches.
Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com