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Winter is here: An Alaska weather roundup

Laurel Andrews
After a seemingly-endless autumn, winter has arrived in full-force. Loren Holmes photo

Winter is here! After a seemingly endless autumn, snowfall and winter weather advisories across much of the state signaled a shift of seasons over the weekend. Many weather advisories, including coastal flood warnings and heavy snowfall, continue through Monday, so Alaskans should be on alert while driving and planning outdoor activities. Here's a weather roundup across the Last Frontier:

Western & Northern Alaska

As a Bering Sea cyclone that formed last week continues to move up the Western Alaska coast, flood warnings remained in effect from the Eastern Norton Sound, Seward Peninsula to Barrow. The National Weather Service warns of coastal flooding up to 5 feet, in effect until Monday afternoon.

In the Kuskokwim Delta, a freezing rain advisory was in effect from Monday at midnight until noon on Tuesday. Snowfall was expected to turn to rain overnight, so residents of the region should “Be prepared for slippery roads,” the NWS wrote.

The Arctic Coast was also under winter storm warnings through 3 p.m. Monday. Winds gusting to 50 mph were forecast, kicking up the snow accumulation and causing blizzard conditions. Near-zero visibility is expected. 

In addition, winter weather advisories were in effect across the Brooks Range, with wind gusts up to 50 mph.

Interior

In Fairbanks, winter storm warnings were canceled Sunday afternoon. Lows of zero to 10 above were forecast for the evening, and on Monday, scattered snow showers were forecast to continue, with highs in the mid-teens to lower 20s.

In the Upper Tanana Valley, including Tok, Chicken and Eagle, a winter advisory was bumped up to become a storm warning in effect until 6 p.m. Monday. Snow from 3 to 13 inches is expected.

The Eastern Alaskan Range, including Donnelly Dome and Black Rapids along the Richardson Highway, stretching to the Canadian border, 12 to 18 inches of snowfall was expected through Monday at 3 p.m.

Southcentral

In Anchorage, snow turned to rain and then back again over the weekend, with icy roads causing accidents around the city Saturday afternoon. By Sunday evening, Southcentral was seeing its first significant snowfall of the year.

Heavy snowfall in higher elevations of Anchorage and Eagle River prompted a winter weather advisory to be put into effect until 5 a.m. Monday.

“Snow will increase in intensity early this evening and then slowly diminish during the early morning hours Monday,” the NWS wrote Sunday. Snow accumulation between 3 to 6 inches are expected on the Anchorage hillside.

The Susitna valley, from Willow to Cantwell, was under weather advisories until 7 p.m. Sunday, with between 6 to 12 inches forecast by Sunday evening.

The NWS warns that travel may be more difficult, and visibility limited, due to heavy snowfall.

Check out the most up-to-date weather forecasts at the NWS website.

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @Laurel_Andrews