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As snow hammers Forty Mile Country, Anchorage braces for frigid blast

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The National Weather Service is reporting that a narrow band of northern Alaska, stretching from Denali National Park east to Eagle was pounded with heavy snow on Thursday.

Up to a foot has fallen already in some areas, with another 2 to 4 inches expected Thursday evening before the storm moves on. The Interior Alaska area, known as Forty Mile Country, includes Salcha, Eagle and Eielson Air Force Base. It doesn’t typically receive heavy snowfall.

While the weather was cooling in large swaths of Alaska, Fairbanks was hanging on to seasonably mild minus-3 temperatures at 5 p.m. Thursday.

In Alaska’s biggest city of Anchorage, forecasters were downgrading the amount of snow that was expected there to just 3 inches Thursday night and Friday. However, the recent stretch of mild temperatures, which reached the low 40s in some parts of town on Thursday, was due to end. Abruptly. By Saturday night, Anchorage’s nighttime lows could sink below minus-15 on the east side of the city of nearly 300,000 residents.  That’s a temperature swing of more then 50 degrees in a few days.