Winter weather advisory canceled; blowing snow may reduce visibility


The weather service has canceled the winter weather advisory but says flurries may continue in Anchorage through the morning, and driver visibility may be hampered by blowing and drifting snow, especially in northern and western parts of the city.

No school closures have been reported.



A winter weather advisory has been issued for Anchorage, the Susitna Valley and the Western Kenai Peninsula until 5 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said Wednesday afternoon.

Some 4 to 7 inches of snow were forecast for the Anchorage area and wind gusts, especially in the higher elevations and along the Turnagain Arm, were expected to cause blowing snow and low visibility. Gusts up to 45 mph were expected, the weather service said.

Steady overnight snowfall will change to flurries Thursday morning in Anchorage, with the threat of up to an inch of snow lingering until Friday.

A blizzard warning was issued for the eastern Kenai north of Moose Pass on Thursday. The weather service predicted 8-10 inches in the Western Prince William Sound region with wind gusts topping out at 50 mph. Temperatures were expected to hover around single digits Wednesday into Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, the weather service predicted between 5 and 10 inches of snow overnight for Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Cooper Landing.

The Western Kenai had been under a blizzard watch early Wednesday, but when the front lost steam over the Aleutian Islands, the service changed the peninsula's alert to a winter weather advisory.

In the Mat-Su, winds and about 2 inches of snow could limit visibility to less than a mile, forecasters said. The temperature in the Valley could dip to minus 5 over Wednesday night and the front could bring Hatcher Pass between 3 and 7 inches of snow and the Turnagain Arm area some 2 to 4 inches of snow.

The avalanche advisory for Turnagain Arm has been at "moderate" above and below the tree line since Saturday, said Graham Predeger, forecaster with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

Predeger said the center plans to up the advisory level Thursday because of the storm. At a minimum, that's a warning of possible natural avalanches, with human-triggered avalanches likely, according to the center's website.


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Anchorage Daily News /