Forecasters warn of challenging Friday morning commute in Anchorage as storm moves in

Tegan Hanlon,Devin Kelly


The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Anchorage area, in effect from midnight Thursday through late Friday.  

The storm, which will work its way up from Kodiak on Thursday, is expected to drop between 2 and 6 inches of snow on Anchorage along with about one-tenth of an inch of ice and sleet, according to the National Weather Service.  

The low-pressure system will also boost temperatures in the region, but perhaps not quickly enough to ease the Friday morning commute, according to Dave Stricklan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

“It’s going to take a little bit to get the ground warmed up,” he said. 

Stricklan said the temperature will climb from lows in the 10s and 20s late Thursday to highs in the upper 20s and 30s by Friday. 

What will begin as snow flurries Thursday night will turn into a mix of sleet and freezing rain sometime after midnight, Stricklan said. When the precipitation hits the ground, which is already cold from this week’s frigid temperatures, ice will form, he said. 

Snow will continue to fall throughout the day Friday and taper off by Friday night. There’s a small chance of snow Saturday, Stricklan said, but “the main brunt of it will be tonight through Friday evening.” 

Winds are also expected to howl along Turnagain Arm and at higher Anchorage elevations, from 35 to 50 mph Friday morning, courtesy of the low-pressure system, according to the National Weather Service.

In Fairbanks, a winter weather advisory is in effect for the same system until 3 p.m. Friday. The National Weather Service expects wind gusts up to 40 mph over mountain summits and warn of blowing snow, according to Scott Berg, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. 

“The winds have already started to pick up across the Alaska Range,” he said. 

The western Kenai Peninsula will face the brunt of the storm earlier and is under a winter weather advisory from noon Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. Between 4 and 8 inches of snow is expected to fall, with winds of 15 to 25 mph, according to the Weather Service. 

The  Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for Thompson Pass near Valdez from 6 p.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Friday. Ten to 20 inches of snow is  expected to fall.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4314.



A bout of stormy weather approaching Anchorage is expected to bring several inches of snowfall over the next two days, forecasters said Wednesday.

A system brewing is predicted to hit Anchorage starting around 3 p.m. Thursday, Bill Ludwig, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage, said during a Wednesday afternoon conference call.

After dropping a couple inches of snow on the region, the precipitation will likely turn into freezing rain or drizzle -- potentially creating slick driving conditions for the Thursday evening rush hour and the Friday morning commute, Ludwig said.

More snow is forecast for Friday evening, about 3 to 5 inches, Ludwig said. Visibility is expected to be at its lowest at that point.

In southeast Alsaka, meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued warnings for heavy snowfall and winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour starting Wednesday night.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.



Current Alaska weather advisories and warnings
Weather Service special statement for Southcentral Alaska
Anchorage Daily News