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Morning snowfall makes for slippery commute in Anchorage

Update 10 AM THURSDAY:

Winter weather advisories for Anchorage and areas north have expired, according to the National Weather Service.

About 2 inches of snow accumulated near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport early Thursday when bursts of heavy snowfall hit the city just in time for the morning commute, said Dave Stricklen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Police responded to 16 vehicles in distress, 17 accidents and one accident with injury since 5:50 a.m., said Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman. 

Police briefly closed an icy 1.5-mile stretch of Rabbit Creek Road from Old Seward Highway to Evergreen Ridge Street on  Thursday morning after a number of vehicles, including a school bus, were unable to get up the hill, said Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman.

“The officers were reporting at the scene that as the temperatures warmed up the whole hill on Rabbit Creek just turned into a giant ice rink,” Castro said.

Forecasters predict clear skies for the rest of Thursday and high temperatures in the upper 20s and mid-30s.

“The excitement is over for the day,” Stricklen said. 

A high wind watch is set for Friday morning for the Hillside and Turnagain Arm, with gusts to 75 mph possible, the weather service said

UPDATE, 9:30 AM

Police have reopened a 1.5-mile icy stretch of Rabbit Creek Road from Old Seward Highway to Evergreen Ridge Street. 

Police said they were responding to a number of vehicles unable to get up the hill and were waiting on sanding trucks.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Anchorage and areas to the north are under a winter weather advisory Thursday morning, with up to five inches of snow in the forecast. It's expected to peak during the morning commute.

Between two inches and five inches of snow are forecast for Anchorage and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, the National Weather Service said. In Anchorage, the heaviest snow is expected on the east side of town and on the Hillside.

"Snowfall will intensify rapidly this morning...reaching peak intensity during the morning rush hour," the weather service said. Snowfall could exceed one inch an hour at times, the weather service said.

A high wind watch is also in place starting Friday morning for the Hillside and Turnagain Arm, with gusts to 75 mph possible, the weather service said.

See all the weather service advisories here.

Current Alaska weather advisories and warnings
Anchorage Daily News / adn.com
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