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NWS: Freezing rain leaves Mat-Su roads slick; light snow, warmer days ahead

Tegan Hanlon,Zaz Hollander,Michelle Theriault Boots

UPDATE 10:30 AM MONDAY:

 The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for Palmer, Wasilla, Sutton and Chickaloon until 1 p.m. today.

The advisory warns that "a narrow area of freezing rain has developed over the Matanuska Valley associated with an upper-level disturbance." Any precipitation is expected to diminish by early afternoon as drier air flows down from the north, forecasters say.

The fast-moving system could bring up to a tenth of an inch of ice.

UPDATE, 9:05 AM MONDAY:

The Mat-Su Borough is reporting very dangerous driving conditions from Wasilla north due to freezing rain on roads and windshields, limiting visibility. 

UPDATE 8:15 AM MONDAY:

Freezing drizzle that moved through parts of the Anchorage Bowl early Monday amounted to only slight ice accumulation, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. 

The service issued a special weather statement at 5 a.m. alerting residents of light precipitation in the area,  tapering to isolated snow showers by midday. By 8 a.m., said meteorologist Bob Clay, “pretty much any threat of freezing drizzle is over at this point.” 

“When I came into work at about 5:30 a.m. there was  some freezing drizzle out in Eagle River, but it didn’t appear that there was any real impact,” Clay said. 

Some areas, like in West Anchorage, may see trace amounts -- less than one-tenth of an inch -- of ice accumulation on road surfaces and vehicles, he said. 

Isolated snow showers are expected to leave less than one inch of snow accumulation Monday, with highs in the 20s, according to the National Weather Service. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

 A low-pressure system is walloping much of Southwest Alaska with weather that could make travel by air, water or land dangerous for the next day or two, the National Weather Service said.

The NWS has issued a small craft advisory for Bristol Bay tonight, as well as gale warnings for the Eastern Aleutians.

The system originated south of the Pribilof Islands, said NWS hydrometeorological technician Michael Kutz Sunday.

On the Bering Sea side of the peninsula, seas could get as high as 19 feet, tapering off slowly for the next 36 hours.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it didn't know of any vessels in distress in the area as of Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Bristol Bay area may see 4-8 inches of snow.

Wind chills on land could reach -30 to -35, Kutz said.

This is not unusual weather for January in Southwest Alaska, Kutz said.

Wind, snow and high seas will make travel difficult.

"Flying around is going to be bumpy. On the ground it's messy. On the water, you might just want to say the heck with it, pull up and watch football," he said.

Remains of the system are expected to sputter into Anchorage late this week, bringing temperatures that could reach the high 30s, Kutz said.

 

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

 


By TEGAN HANLON, ZAZ HOLLANDER and MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
Anchorage Daily News